By: Vanessa Valenti on July 31, 2008 This is a good step: Sierra Leonean police have adopted new policy guidelines on sexual abuse and exploitation that have been drafted by United Nations officials as part of their efforts to reduce the widespread levels of violence against women and girls in the West African country. The policy guidelines, the first in the region, were drafted by the conduct and discipline office, the gender adviser and the UN Police section of the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), according to a statement issued in Freetown by the office on Saturday. Considering the prevalence of sexual assault and abuse in Sierra Leone, this is a good thing to see happening. This week, UNIOSIL is conducting workshops and trainings not only for police officers, but managers and other employees of the police force. Only time will tell of the impact it will make; we can only hope it’s a great one.