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Breast-ironing recognised as child cruelty and assault by Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Published: Thursday, 1 August 2019

The harmful procedure - which involves flattening a girl's chest with a hot stone or other objects to delay breast growth - is often performed by family members to prevent unwanted sexual attention.

New guidance published by the CPS, says that breast-ironing should be prosecuted as a form of child abuse.

Charities have estimated that 1,000 girls in the UK have been affected by the practice, which doctors say can cause breast cancer, scarring, infections, breastfeeding problems and psychological trauma. 

New CPS guidance makes it clear to police and prosecutors that breast-ironing is a crime that can be caught under existing law, even if it is said that the victim has consented. 

The offences to be considered by prosecutors include child cruelty and causing or allowing a child to suffer serious harm. Both crimes are punishable by up to ten years in prison. Assault charges would also be available to prosecutors, the guidance confirms. 

Further information can be found within the news article on the CPS website.