It looks like the United States isn’t the only country dealing with an uptick in discovered cases of female genital mutilation – the U.K. has it’s own ongoing FGM worries to grapple with.
Data published Tuesday by the National Health Service reveals that between January and March alone, another 1,236 cases of female genital mutilation were discovered in the U.K.
According to the NHS, physicians reported more than 2,000 cases between January and March in which they learned a female patient had previously undergone FGM, or was being treated for complications associated with the procedure. The data doesn't specify whether the girls were mutilated in the U.K. or elsewhere, nor does it break down the nationality of each victim.
The Nottingham Post reported Tuesday that 20 of these new cases were discovered in Nottingham, adding that the vast majority of the victims had been mutilated at a very young age. Ten of the women said they had been cut before their first birthday, while another five were victimized between the ages of one and four.
While clearly a tragic and growing problem, FGM is clearly nothing new – all 20 of these women were pregnant when it was discovered that they had undergone the barbaric procedure. The report noted 15 of the cases were identified by a physician during an exam.
The East Anglian Daily Times reported another 15 cases of FGM were discovered in Suffolk and Essex.
Female genital mutilation is illegal under U.K. law, and physicians are required to notify NHS whenever they discover that a woman has been the victim of FGM practices.
It’s been estimated that on average, one new FGM victim is discovered every minute in the U.K. Between April 2015 and March 16 alone, more than 8,600 women were assessed for FGM at U.K. clinics and hospitals, according to the government’s data.
Global health organizations estimate that roughly 200,000 million women and girls around the world have been victims of FGM procedures.