Hilton said she was an abuse victim at Provo Canyon School, which since her time there is operated by new owners. “I was choked, slapped across the face, spied on while showering and deprived of sleep. I was called vulgar names and forced to take medication without a diagnosis. At one Utah facility, I was locked in solitary confinement in a room where the walls were covered in scratch marks and blood stains,” Hilton said, according to WTTG-TV. She said those experiences drove her to support the bill. “So I’m really just turning my pain into a purpose and using my platform to help make a difference and save children’s lives because hundreds of children have died in the name of treatment in these places,” she said, noting that she is speaking out “because these are children who come from families that can’t help and support them and children from the juvenile justice system, foster care system. And they have no voice.” Republican Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the legislation is necessary, according to Fox News. The Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act increases oversight and transparency and requires facilities to document treatments used on children in their care. “Who among us did not struggle as a teen? That’s just part of the normal growing-up process. And that’s why it’s so very important we understand,” he said. “What this bill is going to do is to enhance the collection of data and of information so that we can see what the goals, what the practices, the ethics of some of these group homes and these facilities are so that parents and children can make an informed decision on whether they want to participate or not,” Carter said. Hilton said some institutions “disguise themselves as emotional growth schools, wilderness camps. But these are just names that they put and they have false advertising and people have no idea what’s happening behind closed doors.”
.@ParisHilton on children’s residential facilities bill: “I am determined to use my platform and resources to make a difference. […] That is why I’ve fought tirelessly for two and a half years to ensure lawmakers understand the gravity of this issue.” https://t.co/1AomZ2ZiDV pic.twitter.com/2TFnHL1eGX— The Hill (@thehill) April 27, 2023
Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, another co-sponsor, said that “Kids and young adults will decide the future of this country.” “I dedicated my life to mentoring young people because they are the most precious commodity we have. If we get everything else right, but neglect our young people, our country has no future. I’ve seen some of these residential care facilities with my own eyes and I know they need reform,” he said, according to WAFF-TV. “There’s an old saying that sunlight is the best disinfectant. We need some more sunlight on these facilities so we can put a stop to the waste, fraud, and abuse in the system. I’m proud to support this bill and stand with our kids,” he said.
‘I was yelled at, dehumanized, silenced, and stripped of any semblance of privacy.’Paris Hilton joined lawmakers in D.C. Thursday to advocate for a bill that aims to provide greater oversight and transparency of institutional youth programs. pic.twitter.com/eu1SQyJTnp — NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 27, 2023
According to the Daily Mail, the bill is also supported by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas as well as Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
It feels surreal to be back in D.C. to finally introduce my federal bill to stand up and fight to #StopInstitutionalChildAbuse. The people who hurt you don’t get the last word and I’m proud to have the opportunity to turn my pain into purpose.🙏 #Survivor pic.twitter.com/6sjmDOL2IL— ParisHilton (@ParisHilton) April 28, 2023