Samsunear Ali
Deputy Chief Executive
Who We Are
Established in 1995
BAWSO is an all Wales Organisation
providing specialist Services to BME
women & children who have been
made or about to be made homeless
through domestic violence including
other forms of Violence Against
Core Services
8 DV/Trafficking Refuges capacity 42 units
131 Floating Support Units
Outreach Projects
IDVA Projects
Childcare Projects
Men’s Project
Older Peoples Project
Mental Health Awareness Project
Volunteering Project
Language Support Project
Training and Development Projects
Specialist Services
• Forced Marriage
– Training and Awareness Raising Project
• Female Genital Mutilation
– Health and Safe Guarding Project
• Trafficking
– Diogel Project
• No Recourse to public Funds
– DDV Project
Arranged Marriages
• The families of both spouses are involved
• They take a leading role in the arrangements
• Choice is given to young people
What is Forced Marriage?
• Marriage conducted without the valid consent of both
parties where duress is a variably a factor of forced
• It may involve intense family pressure, physical abuse,
abduction, imprisonment, detention and murder
Extent of Forced Marriage
5,000 cases of forced marriages are reported to forced
marriage unit each year & they deal with 300 cases every
• The majority of forced marriage cases are arranged in the
U.K. to be married in countries such as South Asia, South
East Asia, Middle East, Europe, Africa
Forced Marriage Statistics
• 1/3 of the victims are under 18’s
• 15% of the victims are men
• Whilst most cases are from Pakistan 65% and Bangladesh
15%, FMU deals with cases in locations like Norway &
• FMU can also help people in UK
• If someone is a victim of forced marriage FMU can try and
stop the spouse getting a visa to come to the UK
Motives behind Forced Marriage
• Attempt to strengthen the family links
• To ensure family wealth, land or property remains
within the family
• Fulfilling long standing family commitments &
• Assisting claims for citizenship & residence in UK
Forced marriage & Disabilities
• Disability is seen as stigma/shame within the BME
• 1 in 5 forced marriages reported to the Government
involve disabled people
• Forced marriage is used as a way to ensure that disabled
children are cared for
• A person with learning disabilities can be seen as
biddable by spouses/families in search of visa
shame and honour
Izzat consists of a learnt complex set of rules that one
has to follow in order to protect the family ‘name’ and
maintain family position within the community
FGM Definition
The term “Female Genital Mutilation” [also called “female
genital cutting”] comprises all procedures that involve partial or
total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to
the female genital organs for non medical reasons
(World Health Organisation, 2008)
Classifications of FGM
• There are 4 classifications of FGM (female cutting)
• Clitoridectomy
• Excision
• Infibulation
• Unclassified
Comparison between male & female
• While some argue that both practices are a violation of a child’s
right to physical integrity, in important ways both practices are very
• Male circumcision is the cutting of the foreskin of the penis without
damaging the organ itself
• The degree of cutting in female circumcision is more extensive
Origins of FGM
• It is not entirely clear where or when the practice of FGM originated.
It is believed that the practice:
• Pre dates any religion( Islam or Christianity)
• Dates back to 2000 years ago in Ancient Egypt
• An old African rite that came to Egypt by diffusion
• A form of FGM was preformed in England until 19th century
FGM in Africa
Location of FGM in England and Wales
Why FGM is an Issue?
• FGM is a Human Right violation
• It denies women and children:
- security and personal liberty
- privacy and bodily integrity
- freedom of conscience
- a right to health
• It causes women and children physical and psychological harm
Statistical information on FGM
• It is estimated that approximately 138 million African women have
undergone FGM world wide with a further 2 million at risk annually
• Up to 80% have undergone type I or II of FGM
• Approximately over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM
in England & Wales
Women & FGM
• For many women FGM is a fact of life, a pain that must be borne
because they must conform to social expectations in order to
• It is a centuries – old traditional practice present with a number of
physical, psychological and cultural challenges
Women’s views on FGM
• FGM represents a massacre of the perfection that God has made.’
• ‘It goes against God’s law to hurt any human being like that.’
• If you don’t choose to be circumcised you can not become a woman
in the whole sense. And we don’t know any different.’
• ‘Affects your self esteem as a woman; sexuality is very important. I
could compare myself with someone who has breast cancer.
I don’t feel a full woman and what is the point of me looking for a
man now?’
Men’s Views
• It is an offering to the gods that foreigners shouldn’t interfere with;
otherwise the gods will be upset.’
• Really, when it comes to family and honour, it’s the mother who has to
accept the daughter-in-law…and really it’s them who run society. We
are peripheral!
• My daughter is not circumcised but friends and people from my
community ask me why I am against it. If it is our very own cultural
practice I should agree with it.’
• I think it’s to prevent Somali girls from having sex’
Short Term Implications
• Hemorrhage
• Shock
• Acute urinary retention can lead to kidney failure
• Fracture or dislocation of pelvis bones
• Damage to other organs
• Infection
• Failure to heal
• 10% mortality from immediate complications
Short Term Implications Cont’d
 Fluid retention
 Swelling, inflammation
 Abscesses- if untreated can lead to septicaemia and can be fatal
 Excessive bleeding can lead to haemorrhaging- if it persists it can
cause death
 Increase risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, Hepatitis,
HIV/AIDS due to using dirty & un-sterilised instruments
 Multiple usage of the same instruments can cause Gangrene, Tetanus &
blood poisoning & Septicaemia
Long Term Implications
• Reduced sexual fulfilment due to partial or total destruction of vulva
nerve endings
• Infertility
• Obstructed labour increasing the risk of death to mother or child
• Obstructed fistula (unnatural opening between vagina &rectum or
vagina & bladder
Long term implications Cont..
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Low self esteem
• Severe depression & anxiety
• Psychosomatic illness
Antenatal problems
• IUGR (intrauterine growth) as women decrease intake to have
smaller baby
• Retention of foetus/products at miscarriage
• Psychological scarring gives increase in depression, anxiety and
• Obstructed labour, resulting in fistulae
FGM & Violation of Human Rights
 FGM is a clear violation of the human rights of the
women. It is discriminatory and violates the rights
to equal opportunities, freedom from violence,
health, injury, abuse, torture and cruel or inhuman
and undignified treatment. These rights are
protected in international law.
 FGM is prohibited by many international and
regional human rights conventions that protect
women and children from cruelty and violence and
ensure them "bodily integrity" and access to health
care, education, self-realization and protection from
harmful traditional practices.
Alerting Factors
• Mother has undergone FGM
• Older siblings undergone FGM
• Origins of family
• Allegation / Disclosure
• Intention to take female child out of UK
• Displaying possible symptoms of having undergone FGM
Prevention and Intervention
• Be familiar with communities that practice FGM
• A child talks about or has been on ‘HOLIDAY’
• If the mother is circumcised it is most likely that female children
are at risk
• Prevention requires sensitive community education and
Prevention and Intervention
• Well informed and trained interpreters
• Find out what the interpreters’ views on FGM
• Give yourself time to get to know parents or the community –
gain their trust
• Find out if there are responsible community leaders who speak
out against the practice
• Contact other agencies for support and help
What do I do?
• You must inform your designated child protection Advisor
• They must make a referral to the Local Authority Children’s
Social Care
• Report any concerns. Child protection is everyone’s
• FGM is a serious crime and can be fatal
Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003
• Offence to commit FGM
• Offence to aid, abet, counsel or procure a girl to commit FGM
• Offence for someone in the UK to aid, abet, counsel or
procure FGM outside of UK that is carried out by a person
who isn’t a UK national or resident
• Any act done outside UK by UK National or resident
FGM and Child Protection
Law and Legislation
• Working Together to Safeguard Children. A guide to inter-agency
working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
• The Children Act 1989
• May exercise its powers under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989
• A prohibited steps order can be put in place.
Girl identified at risk
Discuss concerns with the
Agency's child protection
Children’s Care Department
1st Strategy meeting (within 2
Days of referral) if
Girl at risk of FGM
Girl at risk of being sent
abroad for FGM
3. Girl has already gone under FGM
No further action
Concern recorded
on files
If there are still concerns
Referral to LA Children's
Social Care Department
Follow up referral in writing
within 48 hours
Complete records and inform
Relevant people e.g. GP
Voluntary engagement
Girl/s stay at home
Voluntary engagement
Girl/s at home
2nd strategy meeting (within 10
days of referral
Evaluate information collected
Recommend if a child protection
Conference is necessary
Child protection conference
To determine allocation of
Social Worker, management support and
To discuss and agree roles to implement the
Protection plan
To make girl subject to a
Child protection plan
A girl at risk may be made
Subject to a child protection
Plan if she is considered to be at
risk of physical abuse
Therapeutic approach
Implementation of child
Protection plan to ensure safety and support for girls
if girl has already had FGM and
there are no other concerns
she should be considered as a
Child in need and offered
Counselling and medical help
Younger sisters and unborn baby
Girls need to be considered and
If not: social worker to initiate
Legal steps under children
Act 1989
1.Prohibited Steps Order
2.Prohibited Steps Order +
Supervision Order
3. Reception into ‘looked after
• Child Protection Register 88
• Children in Need 43
• Protecting BME Children – An
Investigation of Child Protection
• Overcoming the Barriers and Healing the
Scars of Human Trafficking
Thank you
[email protected]
9 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9HA
Tel:02920 644 633
1st & 2nd Floor
112-113 Lower Dock Street, Newport, NP20 2AF
Tel: 01633 213213
63 Mansel Street, Swansea, SA1 5TN
Tel: 01792642003
33 Grosvenor Road, Wrexham, LL11 1BT
Tel: 01978 355818

`Honour` Based Violence & Forced Marriage