So I don’t have sex outside marriage, so I don’t enjoy sex. Primarily, my body is just there to carry babies. That particular day was quite interesting and it was only my neighbor’s daughter that said to me, “Oh, you must be really looking forward to today.” I was like, “Ok. It’s not my birthday, what the hell is going on?” She said, “You’re having your ‘gudniin’ done.” So “guidnin” means “FGM” in Somali. She must have been 8, 9 years old. So a child telling another child what’s about to happen to them. She started to explain what it was, and I’m sitting there thinking, “But Mommy told me no one should touch my body.” So these are conflicting messages. That was going on in my head. But as she’s explaining this, I could hear a scream coming down from the other end of the other side of the house, like screaming. It was my sister. It was like an out of body experience, before I could even do or think anything, And I mean, I ran off. Obviously, I’m 7 years old, there’s only so much running I can do. So they grabbed me, pinned me on this table. The women who held me down, these were aunties, family members, you know, family friends. Before I knew it, I was screaming and I could feel my flesh being cut off. But I just remember him saying, “You’ve been naughty. Behave yourself. It doesn’t hurt.” And I blacked out from that moment. So I had FGM done, was home for two weeks, recovering, the weekend after, we were back at the beach, life was normal again. That’s just the way it was. Once you undergo something like this, There’s no way back from this. My mother wasn’t just cut once, she was cut twice because a neighbor thought not enough flesh was taken away. And for me when we talk about FGM, there’s so much focus on the type and what happened. What we need to focus on is this idea that can just go an examine children’s genitals What I experienced was actually one of the worst forms on abuse. The doctor that cut me would never be seen as a pedophile because he’s checking my genitals under the label of a “doctor.” People will give many reasons, “It’s their religion, it’s their culture.” I mean, none of the holy books mention it. It’s practiced amongst all religions, but none of the books mention it. However fundamentally, FGM is there especially their sexuality I mean, every 11 seconds a girl is being cut. So the fact that we’re no outraged, it’s absolutely crazy to me. The world hasn’t tackled FGM because the majority, it affects black children. There would be an outrage if this was white girls, I mean look what’s happened in Hollywood. It’s great that we’re now naming and shaming sexual harassers and abusers. But black women have been doing that for a while but no one listened. You know, we can’t say every child matters and then pick and choose the ones that matter. I 100% whole-heartedly believe that FGM will end but the only way it’s going to end is that we need end all forms of oppression against human beings. My name is Leyla Hussein.