Newscoma Has Moved
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
  Conviction of Genital Mutilation Victim Who Was Two Omg. This will make all women, and probably some men cringe.
An Ethiopian immigrant was convicted Wednesday of the genital mutilation of his 2-year-old daughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in what was believed to be the first such criminal case in the United States.

Khalid Adem, 30, was found guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Prosecutors said he used scissors to remove his daughter's clitoris in his family's Atlanta-area apartment in 2001. The child's mother, Fortunate Adem, said she did not discover it until more than a year later.

Adem, who had no criminal record, could have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison. He held his face in his hands and wept loudly after the jury's verdict was read.

During her father's trial, the girl, now 7, clutched a teddy bear as she testified on video tape that her father "cut me on my private part."

I used to have a friend in Nashville who did a great deal of research on female genital circumsion. The psychological effects, the infection that would set in and the absolute loss to have any sexual pleasure, with those who do this deliberately wanting women not to have any pleasure what so ever in the sexual act is devastating.This girl was two years old. Its horrendous. But there's more.

The practice crosses ethnic and cultural lines and is not tied to a particular religion. Activists say it is intended to deny women sexual pleasure. In its most extreme form, the clitoris and parts of the labia are removed and the labia that remain are stitched together.

Since 2001, the State Department estimates that up to 130 million women worldwide have undergone circumcision.

130 MILLION Women since 2001. My friends research was most telling. This is an apalling practice where the young women have no say so in the "procedure."

Awful. Absolutely awful.

Yikes! But how is that the mom didn't find out about it for a year and the dada just now went to trial, 5 years later? I should add that while trial/jail seems appropriate given what the dad did, he probably didn’t do it with malicious intent. His beliefs suggested that it was appropriate. The only way to prevent this is through intense efforts to change opinions about the 'need' for genital mutilation and to improve the position of women in society, not through prosecuting select cases. (Most don’t happen in the US anyway.)
Thank you for posting about this.

FGM is shockingly commonplace and shockingly underreported. If little boys' penises were being lopped off, do you doubt for a second that there would be any shortage of US funding going toward its immediate end?
Agreed, and agreed.
A big YIKES.
I think prosecuting select cases actually does help. Yes, this practice is abhorrent - and we should never tolerate it anywhere in the world - but let's be honest about how much influence we as Westerners can have in other parts of the world.

HOWEVER - we must, must put our foot down where we can and say this is child abuse, assault and a punishable criminal offense when it comes under the jurisdiction of Western courts. There can be no excuses for religion or culture or ignorance. This is just plain wrong.

I do agree that criminal prosecution isn't the only answer. Education and getting community leaders to denounce the practice will go a long way, too.

FGM is a problem in the UK - and it's against the law to perform the procedure and it's against the law to take your child out of the UK to have the procedure in your home country. But too often it still goes on - and too often people turn a blind eye to it in the name of cultural sensitivity.
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