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OVC Director Jessica Hart Announces Funding to Help Victims of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting

Female genital mutilation or cutting refers to a barbaric practice involving partial or total removal of female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Office for Victims of Crime Director Jessica E. Hart announces funding to address the needs of victims of female genital mutilation or cutting.

JESSICA E. HART: Female genital mutilation or cutting refers to a barbaric practice involving partial or total removal of female genitalia or other injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

This cruel form of gender-based violence and child abuse is both a global public health issue and a gross violation of the human rights of girls and women which must be eradicated.

Victims can experience medical issues, including infections and infertility, as well as psychological and emotional complications such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In some cases, the procedures are lethal.

You may be shocked to learn that FGM/C takes place right here in the United States. The CDC estimated that in 2012 more than half a million women and girls were at risk of FGM/C in the United States. This is an estimated 3 times higher than in 1990. 

This year, the Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime has funded the first ever Department of Justice program in response to FGM/C.

OVC awarded $3 million dollars to six project sites and one technical assistance provider to deliver direct services to victims, conduct outreach to at-risk individuals and communities, and increase education and detection.

In the words of Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katie Sullivan, for whom starting this grant program was a personal priority, “Female genital mutilation along with other brutal forms of violence against women and girls has no place in modern society and must be stopped.”

I hope this funding helps to raise awareness of the danger to women and girls of FGM/C, as well as support the organizations—including domestic violence and child abuse service providers—and first responders that may encounter victims of this inhumane crime. 

Date Created: October 9, 2020