An online app designed by Coventry University to protect young girls from female genital mutilation has won a national design award.
The Petals FGM web app, endorsed by the NSPCC, has won gold in the digital community category of the London Design Award.
Petals beat off competition from other apps designed to support individuals with depression, isolation or mental health issues.
Female genital mutilation, also known as genital cutting, female circumcision or sunna has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but is a growing problem across the country.
The app was launched by the Coventry team to help young girls living in affected communities who are at risk of FGM to learn more about the practice, what help is available and how to report concerns.
The educational tool, which has been designed with a young audience in mind and doesn’t contain graphic images, works on most smartphones, tablets and computers via a web browser.
The app will also close if a device is shaken and has a hidden history, giving youngsters a sense of privacy when researching such as taboo subject.
Based on Petals, a second app for professionals, Petals for Professionals, has also been introduced this year with Coventry City Council.
Professor Hazel Barrett, from the university’s Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations, is an international leading authority on FGM and was heavily involved in the development of the app.
In the run-up to the international day of zero tolerance to female genital mutilation, Hazel has been discussing FGM with forums across Europe and in Birmingham.
Professor Hazel Barrett said:
“This is the first web app aimed at young people in the UK to give them information concerning FGM. It has been designed and developed specifically for young people and was piloted by youngsters from Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry.
“We hope that the web app will help young people to be more aware of FGM and also give them the confidence to ask for help and guidance.”
For further press information please contact Kelly Baker-Adams, press officer, Coventry University, on 024 7765 9752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the London Design Award visit https://design100.com/LON16/
The award will be presented on Thursday, 23 February