What is the FGM/C Coordination Office?
The Austria-wide FGM/C Coordination Office offers advice, information and support on all issues related to female genital mutilation (FGM/C).
We are an association of the Women’s Health Center FEM Süd, the Austrian Red Cross, the Women’s Health Centers Linz and Salzburg and the Men’s Health Center MEN. The goal of the FGM/C Coordination Office is to be a contact point for those seeking help, experts, professionals and communities and to connect all actors with each other.
What does FGM/C stand for?
FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting) stands for female circumcision. It refers to “the partial or total removal or other injury of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” (WHO, 2008).
FGM/C has many different names – sunna, bondo, excision, cut, ختان ألإناث , Gudniinka Gabdhaha. We primarily use the term FGM/C because it is internationally and universally understood. For sensitivity, the term circumcision is used in the following.
What does female circumcision mean for girls?
Female circumcision (FGM/C) involves cutting away part or all of a girl’s external sexual organs.
What are the consequences of circumcision for women’s health?
Women suffer from the consequences of circumcision throughout their whole lives. Depending on the type of procedure, they can vary greatly. From psychological problems to life-threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Chronic inflammation and pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain during urination and urinary tract infections
- Pain during menstruation
- Pain during intimacy
- Complications during pregnancy and childbirth
- Depression, panic attacks and trauma
What is the legal situation in Austria?
Circumcision of the female genitals is an assault with serious long-term consequences. The penalty for this can be up to 10 years in prison.
The person who performs the circumcision can be penalized, even if he or she does not have Austrian citizenship. Parents can also be penalized if they send their daughter to another country for circumcision. Parents must also try to prevent if someone else wants to circumcise their daughter.
Where can I find help?
Do you have a problem with your health?
You need help and support with the following issues:
- I have great pain during menstruation
- I am pregnant and want a natural birth
- I am pregnant and want to know what this means for the birth of my child
- I have questions about intimacy
- I do not want my daughter to be circumcised
- I am worried that my sister/daughter/friend will be circumcised
We also help you with other issues such as:
- Problems within the family or marriage
- Health issues in general
- Psychological problems
- Situations of violence
Regional counseling centers
In addition to the general info phone, the FGM/C Coordination Office also offers counseling directly on site.
In Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg there are free counseling centers for people affected by violence and FGM/C and those at risk.
Here you can get information, support and confidential individual counseling in medical, psychological and legal matters.