Strengthening protection from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): consultation

We are seeking views on plans to strengthen the existing legislative framework for the protection of women and girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a form of gender based violence. 

Part 5: Consideration of Additional Protections

In order to inform thinking on potential legislative provisions in Scotland, the Scottish Government developed a questionnaire to gather the views of key stakeholders. The survey was sent to all members of the Scottish Government's then Short Life Working Group on FGM in 2014, and a total of 32 completed questionnaires were received. Key findings were as follows:

  • The only provision that received significant support (21 out of 32 respondents were in favour, and a further 9 were 'not sure') was the provision for lifelong anonymity for victims. However, greater clarity on what this meant was called for.
  • Just under half of respondents (15 out of 32) supported introducing a mandatory duty for doctors, teachers and others to report cases of FGM to the police if they believe they have seen that FGM has occurred.
  • For the three remaining legal provisions under consideration, the most common response was 'not sure': 15 respondents were not sure whether Scotland should introduce an offence so that parents can be prosecuted if they fail to prevent their daughter being subjected to FGM; 15 were not sure if Scotland should place the existing FGM guidance for professionals on a statutory basis; and 19 were not sure about introducing a specific civil protection order for potential victims of FGM.
  • Many respondents called for further consultation with communities affected by FGM, and for further detail on what the legislation would entail and how it would be implemented. The need for consistency with other related legislation (child and adult protection) was also highlighted, and some respondents suggested that better enforcement of existing legislation should be the focus, rather than the introduction of new legislation.

A more detailed summary of the survey findings is at Annex A.


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