This summer 24,000 young girls in the UK are at risk. Some will be sent away, others will be at risk in their own homes. Some can be as young as five. It's known as the 'cutting season' and although it is illegal in the UK, it is happening to girls across the country.
I'm talking about female genital mutilation (FGM). You wouldn't think it's something people in Britain would have to worry about today - but that's the problem. People don't talk about it, doctors don't check for it, teachers don't teach it. But we know it happens to thousands of British girls each year.
The Government made FGM illegal but it's not enough. We have to prevent girls being cut by creating awareness in schools. That's why I’ve started a petition calling for Education Secretary Michael Gove to get schools to teach about FGM before the summer holidays.
Female genital mutilation is child abuse. It forces girls into a future of pain from the moment they are cut. The pain doesn’t go. It’s a traumatic experience they have to live with every single day, physically and emotionally.
We need to break this cycle now to protect the 24,000 girls currently at risk of FGM in the UK. And we can do this through schools.
My classmates and I campaigned for our school to do more on FGM. Now all the girls at school know the risks of FGM and feel able to talk about it. But this is one school. We need this to happen at every school in the country - so that no girl is missed.
If every headteacher was given the information they need to talk about FGM to students and parents we could reach every girl who is at risk before the holidays and convince families not to send their daughters to be cut. We could put an end to the silence around FGM in this country.
Please sign my petition, launched this week with the Guardian, to end the silence around FGM. We need to act now before the holidays begin and it happens again.
This petition was originally sent via change.org. Please support this campaign.