Getting treatment after suffering female genital mutilation

If you have been subjected to female genital mutilation, there are organisations and professionals that can support you during your recovery – whether it's psychological or surgical. These professionals are highly experienced in supporting women in the same situation.

Verified by La Maison des Femmes on 03/03/2022

If you have been subjected to female genital mutilation, remember that it is not your fault. There are many professionals who can support you, without any judgment.

Know the facts

Interventions leading to the partial or total removal of the female external genital organs or any other mutilation of female genital organs are referred to as female genital mutilation or “mutilations sexuelles féminines (MSF)”, or sometimes “mutiliations génitales féminines (MGF)” or even “excisions”. 

Female genital mutilation is considered as a violation of human rights. It is punishable under French law as a "crime", the most serious penal code violation. However, you can seek healthcare without your family being prosecuted by the justice system if you do not want to report it to authorities.

Getting treatment

If you have suffered female genital mutilation in your childhood or more recently, it is recommended that you meet with specialised healthcare professionals such as gynaecologists, midwives, psychologists or sexual health specialists.

At the bottom of this page, you will a list of non-profit organisations that frequently support women who have been subjected to female genital mutilation.

They will be able to answer your questions and support you on the path to psychological and/or physical recovery. They will help you find a solution that best suits your personal situation. You can also explore the option of reconstructive surgery if you wish.

Common concerns

  • In most cases you can get treatment without your family being prosecuted by the justice system. 

    In France, all healthcare professionals must respect medical confidentiality. The people you meet during your treatment are not allowed to share information about you.

    Please note: this may change if you are under 18 years of age, or if the healthcare professional considers that you are unable to protect yourself due to disability. In this case they may report your situation to the public prosecutor or "procureur de la République".

  • You can apply for state healthcare insurance called "Aide médicale de l'État (AME)". It allows people who do not have valid residency rights to receive healthcare free of charge.

  • The healthcare professionals you will meet have seen many patients who have experienced the same thing as you. They are specially trained and will do all they can to make you feel comfortable. You can also find a female health professional if it makes you feel more comfortable.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • The “Maison des Femmes”, located in Seine-Saint-Denis, has a unit dedicated to female gential mutilation. Its team of doctors, midwives, psychologists and sexologists, provide specialised care to victims.

    • This service is free of charge
    • If you think you could have suffered female genital mutilation, you can make a confidential appointment with them.
    • Languages available: French, English, Arabic, Spanish, and interpretation possible in all languages, by telephone and face-to-face.
    • Contact: by telephone on 01 42 35 61 28 or by e-mail at [email protected].
  • Comede” is an organisation that helps immigrants and refugees to have access to health care.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can assist you to access healthcare and help you with your paperwork, in particular via their telephone service.
    • Languages available: interpretation possible in all languages.
    • Contact: by phone.
  • Fédération GAMS” supports people subjected to female gential mutilation or forced marriage.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will assess your situation, and then direct you to relevant services near you.
    • Languages available: French, English and Bambara.
    • Contact: by telephone on 01 43 48 10 87 Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by e-mail at [email protected].

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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