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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Network, known as Maine STEN, has started a fund to help victims of sex trafficking get some of their immediate needs taken care of.

The fund is separate from the Maine Victim's Compensation Fund that trafficking victims are now able to access, thanks to a bill passed by the legislature this session. Advocates for trafficking victims were thrilled with that development, but that fund isn't designed to give victims money in the first days and weeks after they escape. The hope is that the Sex Trafficking Victim's Support Fund will fill that need.

When trafficking victims leave their pimp, they often don't have any of the basics most of us take for granted, like toothbrushes or clothes. The pimp controls all of that. As you can imagine, all those little things add up fast, so girls are at risk for returning to their pimps to get those needs addressed.

The fund only has a couple thousand dollars in it right now. Maine STEN is hoping to build it up much more than that. Click here to learn more about the Sex Trafficking Victim's Support Fund.

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