Veiled pain: A study in the Netherlands on the psychological, social and relational consequences of female genital mutilation (2011)

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'Veiled pain: A study in the Netherlands on the psychological, social and relational consequences of female genital mutilation' aims “to improve the psychosocial treatment of FGM survivors living in the Netherlands”. 66 migrant women living in the Netherlands with FGM were questioned to gather qualitative and quantitative data on their mental health and its correlation with their experiences of migration, type of FGM, sexual behaviour and contact with caretakers.

The key conclusions relate to:

  • The psychological, social and relational consequences of FGM
  • The “mutual maintenance” of chronic pain and bad memories
  • The taboo of talking about FGM and the following consequences
  • Various coping mechanisms and the potential for ‘dysfunctional’ coping
  • The need for “different integrated care models and interventions”
  • The importance of the role of religion in coping mechanisms
  • The role of media attention

The findings of the research yielded a number of recommendations and practical suggestions for healthcare service providers and professionals.