FBI Hotline Will Uncover Hidden Trafficking of Female Genital Mutilation
#EndFGMToday Urges Posting of Hotline in Offices, Schools, Hospitals and Public Spaces, as First Federal FGM Case of Michigan Doctor Brings New Awareness
Washington, D.C.—For many years, perhaps even for generations, female genital mutilation (FGM) in the U.S. has gone unreported, unsuspected and undetected because of the secretive trafficking of this barbaric practice.
Now, two major developments are helping create awareness about FGM, which happens right here in America. The first federal prosecution of female genital mutilation is occurring in Detroit, Michigan, with the indictment of Dr. Jumana Nagarwala, who, along with her alleged conspirators, is part of the Muslim sect Dawoodi Bohra, which mandates this horrific practice on their young daughters, reports Elizabeth Yore, head of the initiative EndFGMToday. Nagarwala is charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, transporting minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, lying to a federal agent and obstructing an official proceeding. If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.
Then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, active in the investigation and case against Nagarwala, is hoping its FGM hotline will help bring this crime out of the darkness and into the light so perpetrators can be prosecuted.
“Incredibly,” wrote Yore in a new op-ed for Townhall.com, “a federal statute outlawing FGM was passed in 1996, and it has taken 21 years to bring a federal criminal prosecution. While this is a first important step, it signals the depth and extent of the covert conspiracy of silence to protect this hideous and barbaric practice on unsuspecting little girls. The public should be aware that it is also a federal crime to take a child out of the U.S. for the purposes of FGM.”
Yore noted that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 women and girls in the U.S. are at risk for this brutal procedure. And the number of potential FGM victims is likely vastly unreported, she said. Despite the fact that the World Health Organization and the United Nations declared FGM a violation of human rights, more than 100 million women and girls are subjected to this torture around the world.
“Faced with a growing refugee population originating from FGM-practicing countries—such as Somalia, where 98 percent of girls are cut, and Egypt, where 97 percent of girls are subjected to FGM—resources and the public are needed to expose this barbaric practice, which goes unreported, unsuspected and undetected,” Yore said.
Therefore, EndFGMToday is spearheading a national campaign to publicize the FBI confidential hotline and tipline, and exposing FGM practices in the U.S. EndFGMToday urges the public, mandated reporters in schools and health facilities, and FGM victims to speak up and call the FBI hotline at (800) CALL-FBI or visit www.FBI.gov/FGM. Yore also urged the posting of the FBI hotline in offices, schools, transportation hubs, stores, hospitals and public spaces in order to defend girls from the vicious assault of FGM.
“Americans must demand that FGM no longer be imported and practiced in our country,” said Yore. “It’s against the law. It violates the human rights of little girls, and its barbarism will not be tolerated here. The potential victims of female genital mutilation deserve and need the protection of law enforcement so that no girl will be subjected to this brutal sexual assault.”
Learn more at www.EndFGMToday.com and on social media at #EndFGMToday about FGM and efforts underway in the U.S. to stop it.