The Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 makes it a criminal offence to remove a girl from the State to mutilate her genitals. The maximum penalty for offenders is a fine of up to €10,000 or imprisonment for up to 14 years or both. Despite this, FGM still occurs abroad and proper and care and treatment is required from the national hospital.
'Bolu’ (not her real name) spoke with RTE about her experience with FGM and how her husband was putting immense pressure on her to subject their children to it. When she was just 12 years old in Nigeria her grandmother brought her to a ‘hut’ where she was subjected to FGM and spent the next few days in immense pain, without any aftercare. Bolu fled Nigeria in 2020 and sought asylum in Ireland. Her husband had been extremely violent towards her. Bolu is currently received counselling and hopes by sharing her story, others will speak up and seek help.
Dr Caroline Munyi, the Health Coordinator of AkiDwA, told RTE that:
"We want women affected to be able to go to any hospital in Ireland and be screened for the problem they have - whether it’s in Donegal, Cork, Offaly or Meath. She shouldn’t be made to travel to Dublin,".
‘"A woman may not feel safe enough to disclose their FGM status. However, when they come to us, they disclose their status because we offer that safe space."
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