Coventry University’s new app allows teens anonymous advice about FGM

Sarah Gough

The first app designed to tackle the problem of FGM in Britain has been launched by Coventry University, allowing users to seek help anonymously.

Free to download, the web app, named “Petals“, looks to provide information and advice for UK teenagers most at risk of female genital mutilation. The cultural practice has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but with no prosecutions in 28 years, more than 20,000 girls in Britain are still estimated to be at risk. 

With development help from local schoolchildren, the app allows its users to research the facts about the practice and access helplines anonymously without the fear of being traced. It has a “close and remove” button for those whose internet use is monitored and the app will disappear if the smartphone is shaken.

Endorsed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Petals works across most…

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