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Paris Hilton tells Congress how she was ‘sexually abused and force-fed’ with drugs during child welfare hearing

Paris Hilton testified before Congress that she was sexually abused and force-fed drugs during the time she endured in youth residential treatment centers.

Hilton, a longtime advocate for child welfare and regulation of these facilities, appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday. The hearing focused on strengthening the child welfare system and featured testimony from several expert witnesses, including Hilton.

The heiress opened up about her time spent as a child in youth residential centers, often collectively referred to as the “troubled teen industry.” The 43-year-old told the committee how she was taken from her bed at home at 16 and taken to the first of four facilities she would eventually stay in.

Hilton previously revealed that her parents sent her to these establishments after she started clubbing and partying at 15.

“These programs promised healing, growth and support, but instead they did not allow me to speak, move freely or even look out the window for two years,” Hilton told the panel.

“I was force-fed drugs and sexually abused by staff. I was violently restrained and dragged through the corridors, stripped naked and thrown into solitary confinement.

Paris Hilton, testifying before Congress on Wednesday, calls on federal lawmakers to improve protections for children in residential settings
Paris Hilton, testifying before Congress on Wednesday, calls on federal lawmakers to improve protections for children in residential settings (Getty Images)

Hilton would cope with the abuse she suffered at these establishments by pretending to be someone else, she said. The independent Last year.

“I was in so much pain that I created this fantasy life of a Barbie doll,” Hilton said. “It was a character that I put on as a mask to protect myself.”

On Wednesday, Hilton said she supported the committee’s bipartisan effort to reauthorize a child welfare improvement law — Title IV-B of the Social Security Act — that expired in 2021.

The heiress also called on lawmakers to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which would establish a federal task force on residential programs for youth. This task force would then submit recommendations on how to improve the safety and treatment of children placed in residential programs.

Hilton told the committee that youth residential programs often care more about profit than the safety of children.

“That means they’re trying to spend as little money as possible and the type of employees they hire are people who are not vetted, people who shouldn’t be around children,” he said. Hilton testified.

Paris Hilton attends a House Committee on Ways and Means hearing Wednesday.  The heiress previously testified before Congress in 2021, advocating for a
Paris Hilton attends a House Committee on Ways and Means hearing Wednesday. The heiress previously testified before Congress in 2021, advocating for a “Bill of Rights” for children living in residential facilities. (Getty Images)

Hilton has previously identified Utah’s Provo Canyon School, a residential youth facility, as one of the places where she was abused. The school has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, licensing threats and reports of abuse from multiple students,The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The school said it could not comment on Hilton’s allegations when they first came to light because they have since changed direction.

“What we can say is that the school provides a structured environment that teaches life skills, provides behavioral health therapy and continuing education to youth who come to us with pre-existing and complex emotional, behavioral and psychiatric needs,” the school said in a 2021 statement.

Hilton encouraged lawmakers to introduce regulations requiring such programs to allow children to speak alone with their parents or a trusted adult.

“All my outside contacts were completely vetted and there was always a staff member sitting right next to me,” Hilton said of his time in the programs.

“So if I said even one negative thing about the facility, they would immediately hang up the phone and I would then be punished, and either physically beaten or thrown into solitary confinement.”

Lawmakers praised Hilton’s testimony throughout the hearing.

“Ms. Hilton, I want to thank you for your compelling and courageous testimony today, and for the work you have done to not only highlight the issues you have faced, but also the issues that many “Others face it on a daily basis,” said Rep. Mike Thompson.

“Mrs. Hilton, I first read your story in Vanity Fair. I don’t usually read this magazine, my wife does. She said to me, ‘You have to read this story.’ You won’t believe what happened to him,” said Rep. Mike Kelly. “The fact that you are speaking out about what happened to you… is absolutely incredible and opens up a whole new view for the rest of us.”

Hilton also shared a moment with Rep. Claudia Tenney: “I love your jacket,” Hilton told the congresswoman. “The glitter is amazing. »

“I had a little bling here for today,” Tenney responded.

Hilton also appeared before Congress in 2021, where she advocated for lawmakers to pass a “Bill of Rights” for children living in residential facilities.

On Wednesday, she said she hoped her testimony would make a difference in the lives of children like her.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to do this for children who don’t have a voice and to be the hero I needed when I was a terrified little girl in these places,” he said. -she declared.

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News Source : www.independent.co.uk

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