A key issue is whether the decision to withdraw support from the prosecution is voluntary or as a result of pressure being brought to bear on the victim. Prosecutors should assess as soon as possible whether there is other sufficient evidence to proceed without the need for the victim to give evidence for example, admissions in interview, evidence of medical expert, travel or planned travel out of the UK: passports, flight tickets and bookings, flight manifests, diary entries dates and notes of where and when the procedure is to take place, payment for procedure.
Where a victim is reluctant to attend court and the case can only continue with her evidence to prove the case, a witness summons may be considered. The victim should be made aware of the range of Special measures that can be applied for at court to support and assist them. Orders can be obtained in either the Family or Criminal Court. This is a civil law measure which can be made by a court to protect a girl who has either been, or may become, a victim of FGM.
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The orders may contain prohibitions, restrictions or requirements as the court considers appropriate and apply to conduct within or outside England and Wales. Examples include surrendering passports, prohibiting travel, or prohibiting others from making arrangements for FGM. Breach of a FGM PO is a criminal offence and can be dealt with by the family court or the criminal court.
In cases where the police arrest those suspected of being in breach of the Order, the CPS will decide whether to prosecute, in conjunction with any other offences that might be disclosed. Breach of an Order is punishable on summary conviction with up to 12 months' imprisonment or a fine; or on conviction on indictment, with up to 5 years' imprisonment or a fine. Regulated health and social care professionals and teachers are required to report cases of FGM in girls under the age of 18, which they identify in the course of their professional work, to the police.
Sanctions for not reporting will be determined by the regulatory authority for the relevant professional. In cases involving a young victim of Female Genital Mutilation FGM , the local authority or social services are likely to have material or information which might be relevant to the prosecution case. If the material or information might be capable of undermining the prosecution case or of assisting the defence, prosecutors should take steps to obtain it. For further guidance see The Protocol and Good Practice Model: Disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings.
Prosecutors should consider instructing an expert witness to confirm that FGM has been carried out and the type of FGM. A list of obstetricians and gynaecologists who can assist as expert witnesses in criminal proceedings for women who have had FGM and 2 key clinicians who can assist as expert witnesses for child victims and women has been recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In cases where the FGM procedure has been carried out overseas, prosecutors should request the police to investigate and obtain evidence from that country.
Evidence may be obtained from travel or flight records, or the Home Office Border force. Telephone: 24 hr free helpline for children Childline website. Section 75 of the Serious Crime Act provides for the Secretary of State to issue guidance to whoever the SoS considers appropriate about the effect of any provision in the Act or other matters relating to FGM, the date of commencement is the end of Guidance can be found in the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines on FGM, which has been published to assist and inform frontline professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard children and protect adults from FGM.
This includes reporting any female who appears to have had FGM. Female Genital Mutilation FGM involves procedures, which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.
The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out, and in later life. It can also be psychologically damaging. The procedure is typically performed on girls aged between 5 and 8, but in some cases, FGM is performed on newborn infants or on young women prior to marriage or pregnancy. Many of the victims are therefore young and vulnerable.
A number of girls die as a direct result of the procedure, from blood loss or infection. In the longer term, women who have undergone some form of FGM are twice as likely to die in childbirth, and four times more likely to give birth to a stillborn child. FGM is usually carried out by the older women in a practicing community, for whom it is a way of gaining prestige and, in some communities, can be a lucrative source of income. The procedure usually involves the child being held down on the floor by several women and the procedure carried out without medical expertise, attention to hygiene and anaesthesia.
The instruments used include unsterilised household knives, razor blades, broken glass and sharpened stones.
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In addition, the child is subjected to the procedure unexpectedly. There are no health benefits to a victim who undergoes a FGM procedure, and it harms girls and women in a number of ways. The different types of FGM involve removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls' and women's bodies.
Immediate complications can include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage bleeding , tetanus or sepsis bacterial infection , urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue. Further the long-term effects can include:. The reasons why FGM occurs are varied. The justification for the practice is often cited as custom or tradition and FGM is often seen not as an abuse but as an initiation into adulthood.
Some individuals and families who support the practice of FGM often see this as a natural and beneficial practice by a loving family who believe that it is in the girl's or woman's best interests. This may limit a girl's incentive to come forward to raise concerns or talk openly about FGM - reinforcing the need for all professionals to be aware of the issues and risks of FGM.
In patriarchal communities, FGM is considered essential for marriage, and without marriage a woman's honour and even survival maybe be compromised. Girls who don't get cut risk stigma and alienation. FGM is used as a means of controlling and de-sexualising women, and repressing sexual desire. Those who practise these procedures believe it will reduce the chances of promiscuity in marriage on the part of the women.
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Download a copy of the aide memoire here. The Code for Crown Prosecutors is a public document, issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions that sets out the general principles Crown Prosecutors should follow when they make decisions on cases.
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This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. It is regularly updated to reflect changes in law and practice.
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Your details. Jesus thirsts for the good of others, for their salvation John Let us hear Jesus again in the words of the classic tones of the KJV translation:. The well from which we have drawn is also a worthy patrimony, that of the Anglican or English Catholic Church.
Like the Jewish tradition it is a worthy tradition of faith handed down the generations from many who have served God in their generation. It is t the church of our Baptism for many of us here today. It is a worthy heritage and is the spring-water, which has nourished many saints through the ages.