If you are concerned about FGM affecting women and girls within your local area or worldwide, writing a letter to your MP is a highly effective way to get our message across. For every constituent who makes the effort to write a letter, MPs often assume there are many more constituents who are concerned about that issue, so it is definitely worth doing!
The best way to find your local MP and contact details is to use www.writetothem.com which is easy to use and keeps track (with your help) of whether the MP replies, so you're more likely to get a response. You can also see how responsive your MP has been to other people writing to them from your constituency.
Remember, the more MPs hear about an issue from their constituents, the more likely they are to take action. So, if you are passionate about ending FGM and violence against women and girls writing a letter to your local MP is a great place to start.
The more letters your local MP receives, the more likely they are to go and do more background research and develop an opinion of their own. In turn, they are more likely to represent their constituency's opinion on a matter instead of a party line if they feel that it is an issue many constituents care about.
In order to write a personal letter to your local MP, please remember that you don’t have to be an expert on the issue that you are concerned about. Therefore, just writing to them highlighting one key issue has the power to raise their concern and is often enough to draw attention to issues that they may have been previously unaware of.
The letter to your MP needs to include your name and address so that they know that you are a constituent. If you use www.writetothem.com this will ensure you have the required information.
The letter should contain a clear request for your MP to act on. MPs are very busy and have to deal with many different issues so it will help if you make it easy for them to understand your issue and what you want them to so.
We have provided a sample letter to help you write your own. It is important to use your own words and say why you are particularly concerned. Cut and pasted identical letters are blocked by www.writetothem.com and your MP is more likely to respond if you make your letter personal. Remember to be polite and don't forget to say 'thank you'. MPs rarely receive messages of thanks for the work that they undertake on behalf of their constituents and it will help your letter to make a good impression.
The response you receive will be of one of two types.
It may be a very personal answer to questions with the promise of action. This is clearly ideal and is great news.
However you may receive a generic response where the language used in the reply seems to toe a party line and/or quotes from official statements. Do not give up, read the letter carefully, see if the questions you asked in your letter have been answered. If not, write back to the MP requesting answers to the questions you asked and, if you are not happy with part of the response, state this clearly but politely. Often this second letter is the one that the MP reads. Once you have written a second letter, the response that you receive is often more personal and may address the specific details of your concerns.
After your first letter, you may find it useful to develop a regular correspondence with your MP, updating on progress in the campaign against FGM and encouraging their ongoing support. It also helps to encourage friends and colleagues who live in the same constituency to write as well.
Please keep 28 Too Many informed about any responses that you receive once you have written your letter and forward any responses for the attention of Louise Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We greatly appreciate your support and the time taken to raise local MPs awareness of FGM and what can be done to end it.