A young girl in Australia recalled how she was told to imagine that she was "a princess in a garden" before she was forced to go through female genital mutilation at the age of seven in 2009. The unidentified girl belongs to a family that is part of the Dawoodi Bohra community in Sydney, which is a branch of Shia Islam.
"It hurt...it's a part of our culture and it has happened to every girl," said the unidentified girl in a recorded interview at the New South Wales Supreme Court on 15 September, reported ABC News.
"The person who did it told me to close my eyes and imagine a place I like... She told me to imagine I was a princess in the garden."
The girl also revealed how her sister also underwent the procedure in Sydney a few years after her.
So far, a former midwife, 71, and the girl's mother have been charged with the mutilation and its' planning, which is a criminal offense in New South Wales, however both have pleaded not guilty to FGM.
The midwife's defence lawyer, Stuart Bouveng, has stressed the incident was simply a "symbolic ceremony", and a paediatrician has found no scarring.
"[The woman] touched the genital area with a pair of forceps for a few seconds," Bouveng told the court.
A senior member of the Dawoodi Bohra community, Shabbir Vaziri, has also pleaded not guilty to being an accessory in the crime.