At least 1,000 girls and women in the UK have been subjected to the African practice of "breast ironing" — deforming the breast with a hot rock in a belief it'll make a girl less vulnerable to sexual advances from men.
Community workers from regions across the country with high-migrant populations, including London, Yorkshire and the West Midlands, have said that they know of dozens of girls and women who've been subjected to the form of child abuse, with one survivor saying there could be as many as 1,000 victims, reports The Guardian.
So far, no official government study on the number of girls affected has been undertaken and British police said they've handled no allegations of breast ironing.
One community worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told the newspaper, "It’s usually done in the UK, not abroad like female genital mutilation (FGM)."
She explained the process as being undertaken by women in the family, normally moms or aunts, who place heated stones on pubescent girls’ breasts in an effort to "break the tissue" and slow their growth, some victims being as young as 10 years old.
Breast ironing, originating from Africa — notably, Cameroon — and apparently still practiced by the region’s diaspora in the UK, is intended to make the girls less sexually desirable to men, allegedly protecting them from sexual assault and rape.
Breast ironing can cause deformity, a total flattening of the chest, inversion of the nipple, breast cancer, an inability to breastfeed and long-term psychological damage.
One mom who subjected her daughter to the painful abuse told The Guardian how she had performed it and after her child developed bruising, how she was let off with a caution (a formal warning) after she was questioned by police.
"I took the stone, I warmed it and then I started massaging [my daughter’s chest]," she said.
"And the stone was a little bit hot. When I started massaging, she said: ‘Mummy, it’s hot!’"
Like FGM and forced marriage, the 3rd-world practice has been imported to the UK due to mass migration and allowed to exist because politically-correct British institutions fail to robustly challenge harmful aspects of multiculturalism.
One breast-ironing survivor Margaret Nyuydzewira said that British authorities failed to address the crime as they viewed it as a "cultural practice."
"The British people are so polite in the sense that when they see something like that, they think of cultural sensitivities," Ms Nyuydzewira told the newspaper.
"But if it’s a cultural practice that's harming kids… any harm that's done to a little girl, whether in public or in secrecy, that person should be held accountable."