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Paris Hilton takes to Capitol Hill to advocate for troubled teen care reform

Paris Hilton addresses reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 to discuss legislation for children placed in congregate care facilities.
Julia Nikhinson

Paris Hilton came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to speak in favor of legislation that aims to establish a bill of rights for teenagers in congregate care facilities.

The Hilton Hotels heiress told of her experience of being sent to a congregate care facility by her parents as a teenager where she said she was physically and mentally abused by staff at a Utah school.

“I was strangled, slapped across the face, watched in the shower by male staff, called vulgar names, forced to take medication without a diagnosis, not given a proper education, thrown into solitary confinement in a room covered in scratch marks and smeared in blood and so much more,” Hilton said.

“At Provo Canyon School in Utah, I was given clothes with a number on the tag. I was no longer me, I was only number 127. I was forced to stay indoors for 11 months straight, no sunlight, no fresh air. These were considered privileges,” she said.

Hilton, who was surrounded by lawmakers outside the Capitol, echoed comments she made in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday in which she advocated for reforming America’s “troubled teen industry.”

The news conference, spearheaded by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) also included Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Rep Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who joined to voice support for The Accountability for Congregate Care Act. 

“It creates a commission with the Department of Justice to be able to do the research, to require the reports, to assemble the data, to establish best practices and set up a system for oversight and accountability and it provides grants to states to be able to implement these improvement measures,” Merkley said.

Khanna called for bipartisan support for the measure. 

“I am confident that this bill will create a world where all youth have the support and opportunity they need to heal, thrive and not just survive,” Hilton said.

Tags Adam Schiff Jeff Merkley Ro Khanna Rosa DeLauro

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