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FGM is child abuse says Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens


PCC Sue Mountstevens addressing attendees at the national conference

‘Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse and only by working together more effectively can we protect girls from harm’ were the words of Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens at a conference on Tuesday January 27th, 2015.

‘Tackling Honour Based Violence (HBV), Forced Marriage and FGM’ was the subject of a national conference, where the PCC was invited to speak about delivering collaborative leadership across statutory agencies to drive forward community-wide engagement.

Throughout her address PCC Sue Mountstevens outlined three key things that collectively she believes need to be worked on:

  • Recognising and working with local community groups who can speak out about issues that affect them and campaign for change;
  • Empowering frontline professionals to join together and build up effective working practices;
  • Clear and visible commitment from leaders.

Sue Mountstevens said: "One of the top priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is tackling domestic and sexual abuse, particularly against women and children. So on the issues of honour based violence, forced marriage and in particular FGM, I am using my role to further efforts to tackle these crimes.

"We need to work together; Education, Social Services, Health and the Police, we all have different tools and powers to safeguard our communities and it only by sharing expertise will we be more effective."

Ms Mountstevens also acknowledged the extensive work of Integrate Bristol and Fahma Mohammed and their impressive journey in campaigning against FGM, she said: "It is only by working with communities, particularly young people like Integrate Bristol that we will end FGM in a generation".

The conference was chaired by Aneeta Prem, Founder of Freedom Charity who campaign for the freedom to choose a life free from abuse and forced marriage. Attendees also heard from key speakers including Chaz Akoshile, Joint Head of the Forced Marriage Unit, Mak Chishty QPM National Policing Lead for Honour Based Violence and Charlotte Whelan, Deputy Headteacher of Forest Gate School.

To see all of the speakers and the full agenda from the conference visit www.capitaconferences.co.uk

Posted on Wednesday 28th January 2015
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