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Best Practices in Responding to FGM/C Cases in the United States

In this MMP, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is often thought of as an isolated cultural practice occurring only outside of the U.S. In reality, FGM/C is a growing problem in the U.S. and many girls are at risk. Recent statistics have shown that 513,000 girls and women in the United States today have either undergone or are at risk of FGM/C (Goldberg, et al., 2016). These numbers suggest that there is a strong possibility that service providers in the U.S. will meet with survivors and/or girls at risk. Working with survivors of FGM/C requires a deep understanding of the trauma they have suffered, the cultural beliefs behind the practice, and the challenges survivors face when seeking services. It is crucial to use a trauma-informed approach to help clients feel validated, respected, informed, and connected with other social service agencies. I believe that clients need to be given a voice and a choice in order to feel empowered. Feeling a sense of mastery helps survivors in the process of healing.