My grandmother noticed mine when I was One night, she made me lie down on a bamboo bed by the fire. She pressed on me with a hot wooden spatula and tried to flatten them. Even now, I don't want people to touch my chest. This is done with the intention of postponing their first sexual relationships by making their bodies less attractive to men.
The mutilation is a traditional practice from Cameroon designed to deter unwanted male attention, pregnancy and rape by delaying the signs that a girl is becoming a woman. Experts believe that the custom is being practiced amongst the several thousand Cameroonians now living here. A conference on how to prevent the abuse both in the UK and overseas is being held today in Ealing, west London. The Independent understands a woman was arrested two years ago in London because police believed she had performed the procedure on her daughter. She was later released without charge, although the Metropolitan Police was unable to confirm the report but the Association of Chief Police Officers Acpo said that the practice was known to them.
Community workers in London, Yorkshire, Essex and the West Midlands have told the Guardian of cases in which pre-teen girls from the diaspora of several African countries are subjected to the painful, abusive and ultimately futile practice. Margaret Nyuydzewira, head of the diaspora group the Came Women and Girls Development Organisation Cawogidoestimated that at least 1, women and girls in the UK had been subjected to the intervention. There has been no systematic study or formal data collection exercise. Another community activist, who did not wish to be named, said she was aware of recent cases in Croydon alone. The perpetrators, usually mothers, consider it a traditional measure which protects girls from unwanted male attention, sexual harassment and rape.
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