A new report from the BBC Victoria Derbyshire program revealed that female genital mutiliation (FGM) of very young babies and young girls is on the rise in the United Kingdom, and one victim was only one month old.
According to the BBC, more girls are undergoing FGM -- so-called female circumcision, removal of the clitoral glands and inner labia -- at very young ages because their parents are trying to evade the law.
"These girls are not at school, they are not at nursery, and so it's very difficult for any public authority to become aware," said Dr. Charlotte Proudman, who is an attorney and FGM expert. "By performing it at such a young age, they're evading the law."
"The girls are unable to report, the cut heals quicker and prosecution is much harder once evidence comes to light and the girl is older," said Proudman.
The BBC reported that in one police report "a victim was just a month old." Also, the "mother of a three-year-old girl was found guilty at the Old Bailey on Friday [Feb. 1] of mutilating her daughter."
The news outlet further reported that "939 calls were made to emergency services to report FGM between 2014 and 2018," and a 2015 report by City, University of London "estimated 137,000 women and girls in England have been victims of FGM."
A woman who was forced to endure FGM at the age of six explained what happened to her.
Hibo Wadere said at age six she was "held down, your legs yanked apart and your genitals being ripped apart. You saw the blood, you saw the cutter with blood on her hands. She just kept on cutting as if it was normal for her to hear the screams."
"It was the cruellest thing for a child to experience," said Wadere. "It stays with you for life. It's a life sentence."
FGM is primarily practiced in Muslim communities but it also found, to a lesser degree, in some Christian communities in Africa.