Harmful Practices

Harmful Practices

Harmful practices describes types of abuse and violence, committed primarily against women and girls in certain communities and societies; perpetrators (sometimes there are more than one perpetrator) will try to justify their actions by saying that the practices are part of accepted cultural practice, but this is not the case.

Harmful Practices include

  • Forced or early marriage - not to be confused with arranged marriages where the consent of both parties has been willingly given. Forced marriage cannot be justified on cultural or religious grounds
  • Transnational Marriage Abandonment
  • So called 'honour' based abuse and violence - often committed to protect the honour of a family
  • Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM)
  • Breast Flattening - a practice that is aimed at 'protecting' girls to prevent breasts developing naturally. It is a dangerous, painful and happens over a period of time; a tool is heated and then used to pound or massage the area; this is repeated several times and then the girl's chest in bandaged. The process to prevent breast development can take place over months. It is a hidden practice that takes place in the home

There is a mandatory reporting duty for health care, social care & teachers relating to Female Genital Mutilation

The referral process is via the non-emergency police number 101 and a referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)