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In Britain, a new app has been launched to educate and offer help to young girls at risk of female genital mutilation. While the practice is not often associated with the U.K., an estimated 170,000 women and girls living there have been subjected to FGM, according to the Home Office Select Committee. It is reportedly carried out in very conservative communities where families subject their daughters to the practice in groups, usually between the ages of 8 and 13. The timing of the launch of the app supposedly coincides with “cutting season,” a time-period when communities use the school summer holidays as an opportunity for the girls to recover both physically and psychologically from the devastating mutilation. The app was created at the University of Coventry and has been supported by the Women’s Minister Nicky Morgan. Using the name ‘’Petals,” the app provides information on the history, process and effects of the practice without being too graphic, as well as offering connections to the NSPCC and other groups. It has cleverly taken into account the demographic and has made it easy to hide, untraceable in a browser history and uses a very small amount of data. While the developers do not have the funds for marketing, the hope is that young people’s use of social media will help spread the word to young girls and boys alike. Despite several laws being implemented, there have yet to be any successful prosecutions, but Morgan is not taking the issue lightly and said, “We have a duty to stop this happening in the first place. Cultural sensitivities can never be an excuse for FGM.”
Read the full story at The Telegraph.