Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C)
FGM/C refers to cutting and other procedures that injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It may be called “female circumcision” in some parts of the world. The practice has no health benefits and can lead to a range of serious physical and mental health problems.
The U.S. government opposes FGM/C, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM/C to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse.
It is against the law to perform FGM/C in the United States on a girl under the age of 18 or to send or attempt to send her outside the United States so FGM/C can be performed. People who violate this law can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. Additionally, anyone who performs FGM/C on a woman 18 years old or older without her consent may be charged with a crime under other laws.
If someone performed FGM/C on you, you have not violated any U.S. laws and are not at fault.
Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) for available resources if:
Learn More About FGM/C
USCIS is committed to ending FGM/C. Together with the White House and other U.S. government agencies, we are working in the United States and in other countries where women and girls are subjected to this practice to educate communities about the damaging effects of FGM/C.
To learn more about FGM/C and what the U.S. government and international organizations are doing to help eliminate the practice, view these resources:
- U.S. Government Fact Sheet on FGM/C (choose from the languages below)
- International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
- White House Statement on Zero Tolerance Day 2015
- U.S. Department of State: United in the Commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
- Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Female Genital Cutting Fact Sheet
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States: Updated Estimates of Women and Girls at Risk, 2012 (PDF, 466 KB)
- DHS Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) Outreach Strategy, January 2017 (PDF, 263 KB)
- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Web page on FGM/C
- United Nations International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
- United Nations Population Fund Web page on FGM/C
- Population Reference Bureau’s article on FGM/C in the United States
- World Health Organization Fact Sheet on Female Genital Mutilation
Brochures, Videos and Other Resources
- FGM/C brochure (PDF (PDF, 714 KB)
- U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) FGM/C brochure (PDF)(includes translations in French, Amharic, and Arabic). DOJ can be contacted at: 1-800-813-5863 or HRSPTIPS@USDOJ.GOV.