The Brutal practice of breast ironing is becoming ‘endemic’ in the UK.

By Tanveer Mann

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON - JUNE 22: A video grab of a woman "ironing' her daughters breasts in an effort to stop them growing. A group of young mums are speaking out about a terrible painful ritual being carried out on young girls in Cameroon. 'Breast Ironing' is done on girls as young as six, and involves their chests being pressed with burning rocks and blunted knives. The "traditional" practice aims to stop breasts from growing, but leaves the girls crippled, scarred and in agony. Parents believe that if girls develop too young, they will become promiscuous and fall pregnant, or get raped by men. (Photo by Barcroft Media / Getty Images)
YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – JUNE 22: A video grab of a woman “ironing’ her daughters breasts in an effort to stop them growing. A group of young mums are speaking out about a terrible painful ritual being carried out on young girls in Cameroon. ‘Breast Ironing’ is done on girls as young as six, and involves their chests being pressed with burning rocks and blunted knives. The “traditional” practice aims to stop breasts from growing, but leaves the girls crippled, scarred and in agony. Parents believe that if girls develop too young, they will become promiscuous and fall pregnant, or get raped by men. (Photo by Barcroft Media / Getty Images)

The brutal practice of beating girls’ chests with hot irons to stop their breasts growing has been described as ‘endemic’ in some British communities.

More and more girls in the UK are being abused through the horrific practice of ‘breast ironing’, in an attempt to disguise the onset of puberty.

Ministers are being warned of a rise in the number of breast ironing cases, which is done with the sole intention to make girls less attractive to men.

Breast ironing is widespread in Cameroon and other African countries and affects around 3.8 million teenagers in total according to the United Nations.

Rich families prefer to use a ombilical belt to press the small paps to prevent them from growing.
Rich families prefer to use a ombilical belt to press the small paps to prevent them from growing.

Large stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals are used to compress or mutilate the breast tissue.

The girls are put at risk of tissue damage and cysts and in extreme cases it can cause one or both breasts to disappear.

A stone and stick used for breast ironing are seen on a stool outside survivor of breast ironing Julie Ndjessa's home in Douala, Cameroon, November 4, 2013. The stick is mainly used as for preparing food. New government research shows that 'breast ironing,' where the breasts of young girls are flattened using a hot stone, has seen a 50 percent decline since it was first accidentally uncovered during a 2005 survey by the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) on rape and incest in Cameroon. Picture taken November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney (CAMEROON - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY) - RTX174CX
A stone and stick used for breast ironing are seen on a stool outside survivor of breast ironing Julie Ndjessa’s home in Douala, Cameroon, November 4, 2013. The stick is mainly used as for preparing food. New government research shows that ‘breast ironing,’ where the breasts of young girls are flattened using a hot stone, has seen a 50 percent decline since it was first accidentally uncovered during a 2005 survey by the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) on rape and incest in Cameroon. Picture taken November 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney (CAMEROON – Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY) – RTX174CX

Conservative MP Jake Berry is urging the government to act on the abuse that has now reached Britain and will bring it up in a Commons debate on Tuesday.

In an interview earlier this month, the MP for Rossendale and Darwen said it was a ‘hidden form of abuse’, often committed by’ some of the closest family members’.

Conservative MP Jake Berry. See SWNS story SWIRON: A brutal abuse of young girls called 'breast ironing' is "endemic" in some British communities, ministers are being warned. Conservative MP Jake Berry will demand action to stop the practice, which involves pressing chests with hot objects to disguise the onset of puberty and make the girls less attractive to men. Breast ironing is widespread in Cameroon and other African countries, affecting around 3.8 million teenagers in total according to the United Nations. Large stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals are used to compress or mutilate the breast tissue.
Conservative MP Jake Berry. See SWNS story SWIRON: A brutal abuse of young girls called ‘breast ironing’ is “endemic” in some British communities, ministers are being warned. Conservative MP Jake Berry will demand action to stop the practice, which involves pressing chests with hot objects to disguise the onset of puberty and make the girls less attractive to men. Breast ironing is widespread in Cameroon and other African countries, affecting around 3.8 million teenagers in total according to the United Nations. Large stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals are used to compress or mutilate the breast tissue.

He said: ‘The nearest thing I can compare it to is female genital mutilation (FGM), which we believed wasn’t happening in this country until people started to talk about it and raise awareness of it

‘People gained more confidence to come forward and say ‘I was a victim of this form of abuse’ – and I believe breast ironing is similar.’

Mr Berry has been working with a women’s charity who had spoken to victims of breast ironing.

BG8391 Girl gets breasts ironed, Douala, Cameroon.
BG8391 Girl gets breasts ironed, Douala, Cameroon.

In one particular case, a woman in Birmingham was arrested on suspicion of carrying out breast ironing on her own daughter, but was released because ‘that was her culture’.

The MP is calling for police to be given the same powers they were given to stamp out FGM.

According to research, 15 per cent of police forces are unaware of the practice while 38 per cent admitted they required more guidance to tackle it.

BR92EN Breast ironing with spade in Douala Cameroon.
Breast ironing with spade in Douala Cameroon.

Human rights campaigner Mandy Sanghera said: ‘In 58 per cent of cases the girl’s mother is the abuser. We need to raise awareness of such cultural practices.

‘We need to talk about the impact on young women’s self esteem. We need teachers, police to take such crimes seriously.

‘Just like FGM and other cultural practices are often done abroad. We need to be more aware and prepared to challenge it.’

Source: Metro.co.uk

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