FACTBOX: Female genital mutilation in the United States

by Lisa Anderson | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 11 March 2013 12:35 GMT

By Lisa Anderson

NEW YORK (TrustLaw) - Female genital mutilation is on the rise in the United States, according to a report by Sanctuary for Families, an American agency specialising in gender-based violence.

The most recent figures, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1997, estimate that up to 200,000 young girls and women in the United States are at risk for female genital mutilation (FGM).

“Although updated studies are greatly needed, anecdotal evidence strongly indicates that the number of girls in the U.S. at risk of FGM has increased steadily since the CDC’s original report,” according to the study.  

“People in the United States think that FGM only happens to people outside of the United States, but in all actuality, people here all over the country have been through FGM.  Kids that were born in this country are taken back home every summer and undergo this procedure,” Jaha, a 23-year-old FGM survivor from Gambia, told researchers.

Here are the top five U.S. states where girls and women are estimated to be most at risk of FGM:

  1. California - 38,353 girls and women at risk
  2. New York - 25,949
  3. New Jersey - 18,584
  4. Virginia - 17,980
  5. Maryland - 16,264


(Source: Population Reference Bureau analysis of data from the 2000 Census cited in the Sanctuary for Families report)

Related story: Female genital mutilation on the rise in the United States - report



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