There are ways to protect yourself from FGM or help someone you know. This guide explains how to get a female genital mutilation protection order from the court.
FGM PROTECTION ORDERS: You can apply for a court protection order if you feel at risk of female genital mutilation.
The court order will help to keep you (or someone you know) safe from the 'respondent'. The respondent would be the person you are seeking the FGM protection order against.
It would not be uncommon for someone else to apply for a female genital mutilation protection order on your behalf.
An Example: Your local authority might make a third party application for a FGM protection order for you.
A person who is already a victim can still apply for the FGM protection order. A typical reason to do so, would be to avoid the prevention of a return to the United Kingdom.
You will not need to reveal your identity and there is no fee to apply for a female genital mutilation protection order.
Note: You should contact the police if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or has been a victim of FGM. Check out a list of organisations offering free help and advice on female genital mutilation.
The forms and documents you need will depend on whether you are applying for yourself or on behalf of another person.
Your nearest Citizens Advice office can help you fill out the application. A solicitor can also apply on your behalf and in some cases you may qualify for legal aid. The completed forms need delivering to the same court where you are applying (by post or by hand).
The court will ask you to attend a hearing and they will inform you when and where it will take place. The court will hold the hearing in private.
In some cases, the court will ask you to provide some evidence of abuse at the hearing. They can make special arrangements for you if you have concerns about seeing the respondent.
The judge will decide whether to grant a female genital mutilation protection order. If the judge grants an order, it will either be a permanent order or temporary one.
Note: It is not uncommon for a judge to ask for extra information before making a final decision.
Once you get the protection order you will need to 'hand it over to the police'. If there are any other authorities named in the order they will also need to get a copy. This part of the process is 'serving' the order. The court can serve the order on your behalf or you can give it to the authorities yourself.
There are several steps you can take if the respondent fails to follow the restrictions set out in the protection order. You can either contact your local police force or you can apply to get the respondent arrested.
There are no time restrictions on changing a protection order. You can either apply to extend it, change or 'vary' it, or you can 'discharge' it (cancel it altogether).
There may be instances where you want to add someone to, or remove people from, the order. So, if you believe someone else is also at risk of FGM you can add them. If you feel they are no longer at risk you can choose to remove them.
How to Get a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the United Kingdom