Co-designing research into experiences of female genital mutilation (FGM); A report on a PPI project

Lisa Hinton and Sharon Dixon will be presenting findings from a PPI project to co-design research work into female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
Estimates suggest that nearly 140,000 women are living with FGM in the UK, a procedure that can have lifelong physical and emotional consequences. FGM complicates 2.4% of pregnancies in Oxford, 6.3% in London. Although FGM has been a specific offence in UK law since 1986, recent extensions to the Serious Crime Act 2015 and the introduction of mandatory recording have changed the landscape for women and health professionals.

In 2015-2016 we held a series of focus groups and interactive workshops with community groups and professionals in Oxford and London asking for their thoughts on what research priorities should be. We will present our findings, and include reflections on the challenges of seeking a range of community voices, not only activist ones, and the challenges of sharing learning and experiences across different communities. We have heard much about the perceived impact of the new UK laws and legislations on both communities and professionals and the potential impact this may have on the interface between affected communities and health services, which is the question we are working to take forwards.