FGM Survivor Shares Harrowing Story
F.A. Cole Remembers the Night Her Childhood—and Womanhood—Were Stolen by the Barbaric Practice of Female Genital Mutilation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The national #EndFGMToday initiative has worked closely with several survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM), some of whom have testified before state legislatures considering anti-FGM measures, while others have shared their painful stories.
One of them is F.A. Cole, an award-winning humanitarian, author, speaker and anti-FGM activist. Cole has worked alongside international child advocate and attorney Elizabeth Yore, leader of #EndFGMToday, and recently shared her story of survival in The Christian Post.
Cole was scarred physically, mentally and emotionally as an 11-year-old girl by the barbaric FGM practice.
“Almost 34 years later, I still hurt psychologically, sexually and physically,” Cole wrote. “Not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of the evening of August 1, 1984 … The evening my childhood was snatched from me. The evening I cried for my mum but she couldn’t come to my aid because she is not part of this demonic cult. The evening Papa, a devout Catholic, paid strangers to torture me for life. The evening I felt scared and alone—the evening of August 1, 1984.”
In her extremely personal commentary, Cole also shared that the majority of victims are from immigrant communities or hidden in the shadows of shame.
“FGM is clearly a control issue,” she said, “and given the blooming ‘Me Too’ era, why is the support for FGM survivors not grafted into a whole cloth campaign for supporting women and girls of all walks of life who need liberation and empowerment?”
Read F.A. Cole’s commentary on her harrowing experience with FGM here.
Yore notes that FGM is recognized by both the World Health Organization and the U.N. as a human rights violation, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 girls and women are at risk of FGM in the United States.
Learn more about FGM at www.EndFGMToday.com or on social media at #EndFGMToday.