A mother-of-two has revealed how she was pinned down and mutilated as a ten-year-old, after her parents put her on a plane to East Africa.
Khatra Paterson, 51, thought she was going on holiday when she was sent to Djibouti.
However, she instead was victim to horrific female genital mutilation and she is now speaking out about her ordeal to try and help others who are suffering.
Khatra Paterson, 51, thought she was going on holiday when she was sent to Djibouti and mutilated
Khatra told the Mirror that FGM was happening in secret every day in Britain, despite being outlawed 30 years ago.
Revealing her own experience, she said she underwent FGM without anaesthetic or pain relief.
She said: ‘The first time I realised something wasn’t right was when I was taken alone to a room full of women and told to sit down. The next thing I knew, I was being pinned down by the group of women.
‘They asked me to take off my underwear. I was a ten-year-old child, I was scared and didn’t know what was going on.
‘I was trying to fight so they restrained me and then I felt blinding pain. I didn’t know what they were doing, I just know they were in my privates and the pain was unbearable.
She said she underwent FGM without anaesthetic or pain relief aged just 10 years old
‘I screamed out for my mum and one of the women said to me, ‘This is what your mother wanted.’ I was shouting, ‘No, no – my mum didn’t want this.’
She passed out from the pain and woke up with her legs bound.
However, the pain didn’t improve and she bled all over the airplane seat when flying home a week later.
Eventually, her family sent her to hospital because her wound had become infected and she was given antibiotics.
She was then sent back home to her mother in Scunthorpe, who told her that FGM ‘was just something that happened to girls’.
Khatra revealed how her mother believed women were unclean if they hadn’t been cut and that FGM was ingrained in their culture.
She now runs her own business, a skincare clinic called KP Aesthetics, in Hale, Cheshire.
She also has two sons and is working with charity One Woman At A Time, who help girls in Africa get an education.
Khatra hopes that her story will help raise awareness of FGM and help young women who are going through it.