Paedophile relativism

Female Genital Mutilation

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is creating its Vetting and Barring database of a minimum of 11 million adults, ostensibly to protect our children. As a result scout jamborees, foreign student exchanges and many voluntary activities are at risk. The papers are full of cases where school workers, who have had stringent police checks, have been convicted of paedophilia, so the protection offered to children by the ISA would appear to be highly debatable.

On the other hand there is a group of children that we know are at risk who seem deliberately not to be offered the protection of our courts. These are the 6,500 girls at risk annually of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This figure is provided by the small charity FORWARD. Health Authorities and the Home Office say that they work closely with FORWARD which does its research and helps with education, cultural awareness and counselling.

According to a FOI request all cases of FGM have to be reported to the police yet we know that since 1985 nobody has been convicted of this crime. A law has even been introduced so that taking a child abroad for FGM is also a crime, still no convictions. The Home Office does not keep separate national crime statistics for FGM. Prior to 2008 it was recorded under classification 8A 'less serious wounding' and after 2008 'poisoning or Female Genital Mutilation.' Helpfully the Home Office suggested that perhaps individual police forces might keep figures. A further FOI request revealed that there had been one arrest but no conviction by the Met in 2008. The Met say that they can neither confirm nor deny that they have any other information.

The reasons for non-disclosure are voluminous and include the statements that any disclosure could: 'compromise an investigation', 'those involved in the case may be more likely to withhold from assisting us further', 'endanger public safety' and most bizarrely 'potentially endanger the physical or mental health of any individual'! The next sentence tells us that the medical consequences of FGM include: 'extreme pain, shock, infection, haemorrhage, infertility, incontinence, HIV and death.'

There is, nonetheless, lots of paperwork regarding the subject. See Project Azure and here.

We are told that: despite the very severe health consequences, parents and others who have this done to their daughters do not intend it as an act of abuse. They genuinely believe that it is in the girl's best interests to conform to their prevailing traditional practice.
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The alternative argument to this is that only by enforcing the law and having some test cases resulting in prison sentences will the message be accepted that this is a criminal act. If you know that no-one has been prosecuted for 25 years, you know that the chances are that you will get away with it and the abuse will continue.

I am also told that:The Investigative Strategy should consider identifying established excisors (people who carry out FGM for payment or otherwise) and investigating these with a view to identifying further victims and closing down these networks within the MPS and beyond, where children in London are affected. One would have thought that they might have identified at least one 'excisor' over the past 25 years!

If we do not know the figures, if no-one is ever punished how can we know whether the incidence of FGM is going up or down, relative to the populations involved?

In law enforcement, the term 'paedophile' is generally used to describe those accused or convicted of child sexual abuse. FGM sounds pretty abusive to me. If the perpetrators or parents are not arrested or convicted then presumably they will not be on the massive ISA's Vetting and Barring Scheme designed to protect our children. Sounds a bit racist to me.