It is frustrating that neither society nor the statistics seem good at separating 1) women who arrive as immigrants having undergone FGM in their previous countries; 2) their daughters who may be considered at risk; 3) those daughters who actually undergo FGM in a western country or ‘on vacation’. I’m glad this article seemed to get the problem – though I do wonder about their choice of age range, I think we would use a different one in the UK.
What seems to be important is that the arrival of a large number of women in category 1 is going to necessitate a response. In the first place, they’re going to have specific health care needs which the country isn’t used to meeting. I do wonder how that’s going to work out in the US (not that the UK has distinguished itself recently, or anything). It frustrates me when people complain about the necessity of dealing with this as though it was a terrible imposition. That strikes me as practically victim-blaming.
Then there’s the information campaign to make sure the girls in category 2 don’t end up in category 3. That’s very important, because the next stage should be a last resort, after every effort has been expended here. And lastly, the criminal justice stage for people who do put girls into category 3. I just wish people would stop mentally jumping through the first two stages as though they didn’t exist.