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 KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaKhanna advocates for 'honest and reflective patriotism' in America Democrats call on Education secretary to address 'stealthing' at federal level Showdown: Pelosi dares liberals to sink infrastructure bill MORE (D-Calif.) also included Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Ore.), Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauroHouse sets up Senate shutdown showdown The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron Schumer warns of 'Republican anti-vaccine shutdown' MORE (D-Conn.) and Rep Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant MORE (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.