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Cheshire East Safeguarding Children’s Partnership

Keeping Children Safe in Cheshire East

Honour Based Abuse Including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage

"Honour-based’ violence (HBV) (PDF, 654KB)  encompasses crimes which have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or the community, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and practices such as breast ironing. All forms of so called HBV are abuse (regardless of the motivation) and should be handled and escalated as such. Professionals in all agencies, and individuals and groups in relevant communities, need to be alert to the possibility of a child being at risk of HBV, or already having suffered HBV."

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The Home Office has published procedural information on the duty of help health and social care professionals, teachers and the police prepare.

Here is the website link for the written materials - FGM Mandatory Reporting

This multi agency statutory guidance sets out the responsibilities within agencies involved in safeguarding and supporting women and girls affected by FGM.

This guidance has three key functions:

  • to provide information on FGM, including on the law on FGM.
  • to provide strategic guidance on FGM for chief executives, directors and senior managers .  
  • to provide advice and support to front-line professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard and support women and girls affected by FGM. And to assist them in:
  • identifying when a girl or young woman may be at risk of FGM and responding appropriately;
  • identifying when a girl or woman has had FGM and responding appropriately; and
  • implementing measures that can prevent and ultimately help end the practice of FGM.

FGM is a criminal offence – it is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore should be treated as such. Cases should be dealt with as part of existing structures, policies and procedures on child protection and adult safeguarding. There are, however, particular characteristics of FGM that front-line professionals should be aware of to ensure that they can provide appropriate protection and support to those affected.

Access the resource pack for further FGM guidance, case studies and support materials for Local Authorities, professional services and specialist voluntary organisations.

National FGM Centre

The National FGM Centre published a new FGM Direct Work Toolkit February 2019 aimed at helping social workers carry out direct work with girls at risk of FGM, or who have undergone FGM, and their families. The toolkit provides plans for sessions aimed at children aged seven and older with separate activities for parents, carers and young people.

Forced Marriage

There is a clear difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the young people.

In a forced marriage, one or both spouses do not consent to the arrangement of the marriage and some elements of duress are involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. Forced Marriage is an abuse of human rights and, where a child is involved, an abuse of the rights of the child

Forced marriage involving anyone under the age of 18 constitutes a form of child abuse. A child who is forced into marriage is likely to suffer Significant Harm through physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Forced marriage can have a negative impact on a child’s health and development, and can also result in sexual violence including rape. If a child is forced to marry, he or she may be taken abroad for an extended period of time which could amount to child abduction. In addition, a child in such a situation would be absent from school resulting in the loss of educational opportunities, and possibly also future employment opportunities. Even if the child is not taken abroad, they are likely to be taken out of school so as to ensure that they do not talk about their situation with their peers


If you have a concern then please do not hesitate to call Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub on: 0300 123 5101.  The National 24 hour helpline is 0808 2000 247.

Keeping Children Safe in Cheshire East