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Teachers need training on honour abuse.

Teachers need training on honour abuse.

A teachers' union has backed calls for more information and training for school staff on how to spot the signs of "honour-based abuse".

Some forms of abuse can go undetected because teachers are unaware that they exist, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers annual conference has heard.

Since 2015, teachers have been required to report cases of female genital mutilation in under-18s to the police.

But abuses like "breast ironing" often slip through the net, the union heard.

"Breast ironing or breast flattening, is the pummelling or pounding of a pubescent girl's breasts with hard or heated objects in an attempt to stop them developing," delegate Helen Porter, who proposed the motion, told the Liverpool conference.

"It often lasts for 20 minutes at a time and may be repeated daily for up to 10 months.

"To state the obvious it is extremely painful and can contribute to breast infections, cysts, cancer, depression and complications in breast feeding.

"Breast ironing has been carried out for many generations and is usually performed by mothers who wish to prevent their daughters from being sexually attractive to men in a bid to protect them from child marriage and pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape and the spread of HIV," said Ms Porter.

"It is practised in Cameroon, countries of western central Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. In the UK, girls in London, Leicester and Birmingham are most at risk."

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