Auburn Police want a safe house for sex trafficking victims

AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Auburn Police department wants to create a safe house so that sex trafficking victims have a place to go once they escape their pimp.

Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell says the state of Maine is doing a better and better job at recognizing that most young women who become prostitutes have been coerced or forced into that life. As a result, the department is getting more tips, and helping more girls get out.

Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell said, "Now the goal is: What are we going to do with aftercare. These referrals are coming in and the community's not really set up to receive victims, who have been trafficked, into a long term care facility."

Some victims have an addiction to drugs, and prostitution was the way they paid off their debt. After being trafficked, all of them are sex abuse victims and domestic violence victims.

The police department wants to set up a safe house for them so they can get access to the services they need to get back on their feet long term.

The closest safe house to Maine is in Boston.

Chief Crowell says Maine has a moratorium on new shelter beds, so it may take an act of the legislature to make this happen. Right now, the idea is in its early stages.


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