British girls as young as 10 face harm from breast ironing with stones heated on hot coals in ritual imported from west Africa
The process uses stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals to mutilate the breast tissue and make the adolescent look less 'womanly'
Belief is it discourages unwanted male attention and premarital pregnancy
Breast ironing originated in Cameroon, where one in four are affected
Tory MP Jake Berry said he was shocked to learn girls in west African communities in Birmingham and London were victims as well
By Thomas Burrows for MailOnline
26 March 2016
Around 1,000 British girls face harm from the 'abhorrent' practice of breast ironing, ministers have warned.
In the brutal procedure, hot objects [stones, a hammer or a spatula] are used to pound and beat girls' breasts to stop them growing in the belief it makes them less desirable and discourages premarital pregnancy.
Breast ironing originated in Cameroon, where it affects as many as one in four.
It also takes place in Nigeria, Benin and Chad. This week Jake Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale & Darwen, said he was shocked to learn girls in west African communities in Birmingham and London were victims too.
It is very difficult to spot as most of the perpetrators were the victims' own mothers.