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Emotional abuse
UK News

Christian group welcomes new FGM reporting law

by Hannah Tooley

CCPAS said that the fundamental change in the law is a "step forward," and also urged similar laws to be created to address other forms of abuse.

Under the Serious Crime Act it is now a criminal offence not to report incidents of FGM.

Annette Williams, from CCPAS, said: "The Mandatory Reporting of FGM is a very welcome step forward.

"This is because we already know that it is an effective tool in preventing young girls being sent abroad to undergo this appalling practice.

"It also acts to stem the tide of back street FGM practitioners in the UK."

Annette Williams contributed to the government consultation which led to the new law and has undertaken community research and lectures to Social Work university students on FGM.

She added that: "It is also vital that resources are provided to raise awareness amongst communities practicing FGM.

"This means in particular that those working in the frontline services of education, health and social care receive effective training to equip them with the understanding needed to support those who have already undergone the procedure.

"It also needs to engage these communities in moving towards abandonment of the practice."

CCPAS has however raised concerns with the fact there is no compulsion to report other forms of child abuse.
 
It is now also welcoming the impending public consultation on mandatory reporting, which was announced in October 2014.

This would place a legal obligation on professionals working with children to report suspected child abuse to the authorities.
 
Annette Williams said: "We await the government's consultation on mandatory reporting with interest.

"Were it to be extended across the board, as CCPAS wants, it could help bolster child protection by strengthening the position of whistle blowers.

"It should also compel those who are reluctant to take action to report known or any reasonably held suspicions of abuse.
 
"It should never be that the reputation of the organisation, or any respect for the accused, should influence people whether to report their concerns or not.

"Sadly, this has happened in the past and a mandatory reporting law would therefore represent a major step forward in protecting vulnerable children."

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