The Vavengers is a charity committed to ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).
Although it’s hard to get clear data in UK on FGM/C due to lack of reporting (related to stigma and community silence), 6,590 cases were identified at NHS visits in the UK between 2019-2020. It is estimated that are 137,000 women and girls are living with FGM/C in England and Wales but the number is likely far higher.
FGM/C results in lifelong pain, trauma, health and emotional problems. Health problems that can occur include severe loss of blood, pain or shock; difficulties in urinating or menstruating; bladder infections; increased risk of HIV/Aids; mental health problems such as extreme depression, anxiety and trauma; problems with sexuality and during sex; and complications and sometimes death in pregnancy and childbirth including obstructed labour. FGM/C is not a religious practice, but a historical tradition rooted in, and perpetuated by, the current circumstances of some communities in which women live – namely, control of the female body and sexuality.
Working with women with lived experience of FGM/C and with healthcare professionals, The Vavengers provides direct services and outreach, currently across hubs in London – where both FGM/C and intersecting issues such as housing, domestic abuse and immigration are supported. The charity also campaigns actively around the issue of FGM/C, such as through their current “One Question” campaign, which seeks a standardized question about FGM/C on all primary and emergency healthcare confidential check-in forms. Finally, The Vavengers provides education about FGM/C and its effects to schools, universities, employers, non-profits and healthcare bodies.
Treebeard is providing unrestricted funding to The Vavengers for three years.