Training for Professionals

Protecting girls & young women
from harmful cultural practices

Since the law to ban virginity tests and hymen reconstructive surgery came into effect in July 2022, MEWSo has been providing bespoke training sessions for professionals likely to come across such practises.

Our training is tailored to each organisation's individual requirements and is designed to appeal to a variety of audiences, including frontline practitioners, board and management committee members, other charities and voluntary groups, and volunteers.

Training Programme Outline

Our training programme explains the cultural history and background of virginity testing and hymen reconstruction; those communities where these customs are most prevalent; and the consequences, both physical and mental, for girls and young women subjected to them. We teach professionals, and those in training, about safeguarding and working with the relevant agencies, including the police, the NHS, Social Services and schools, to protect young women.

What Professionals Gain From Our Training

  • A better understanding of these harmful cultural practises

  • How to spot the signs of what is happening to girls and young women

  • The confidence to challenge and respond accordingly

  • Better understanding and knowledge of what is best practice

  • More information about the support available to help deal with such cases.

Our Impact on Your Service
We find that our training not only informs those who participate in sessions, but it can have a greater impact on the culture of a service. It:

  • Improves operational best practice 

  • Informs policy and governance development

  • Ensures that your service is fulfilling its Equality Duty

  • Breaks down cultural misconceptions

  • Builds bridges between communities 

  • Increases intersectional awareness amongst the team

  • Supports Middle Eastern, North African and Asian women who work or volunteer within your service. 

Some organisations who have benefited from MEWSo's consultancy, training and workshops in this area:

  • Refuge: National Domestic Abuse Helpline

  • Islington Council's Domestic Abuse Commissioning Group

  • MOPAC: the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime

  • Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse - a national charity bringing communities together to fight domestic abuse

  • Rosa: Fund For Women

  • Social Services Depts & services for women at Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Click for our full Training Guide. For more information or to book a training session, please

email: office@mewso.org or call Halaleh Taheri, MEWSo's Executive Director on: 07958 145 666

Virginity Tests & Hymen Reconstructive Surgeries are Illegal
Girls & young women must be protected