'There was blood everywhere': Survivor among hundreds stopped in FGM crackdown at Heathrow Airport

“It was painful, so painful, there was blood everywhere,” Yeabu recalls. “There were other people watching in the room. They were singing their own songs. They were happy when they were cutting me.”

Yeabu* was 16 when her parents sent her to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in Sierra Leone, telling her afterwards: “You’ve become a proper woman now.”

She says she remembers knowing what was going to happen to her, but was too frightened to fight after seeing other children held down while fighting and biting the cutters.

“As a young girl you have to do it because for them it’s decency,”

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