Paris Hilton made a surprise appearance at the Utah State Legislature on Monday to testify in favor of a new bill that regulates so-called “troubled teen” facilities. Her testimony was nothing short of horrifying as it detailed rampant torture and sexual abuse of children in these facilities — of which she was a part.
“My name is Paris Hilton. I’m an institutional abuse survivor,” she said.
Utah is considering a new piece of legislation that would attempt to prevent such horrifying abuses from happening in the future and Hilton was there in support of it.
Senate Bill 127 would put these facilities that deal with youth who are facing addiction, behavioral and other issues under more oversight, including regular reports to the state on how they utilize restraints.
Currently, these centers are not subject to any spot inspections and do not have to report when they restrain a child, use a chemical restraint, or otherwise abuse the children.
Under the current law in Utah, this lack of oversight allows abuses like the ones faced by Hilton to go unchecked.
In her emotional testimony, Hilton described her abuse, starting with her being abducted in the middle of the night from her home.
She was essentially kidnapped and then flown to Utah and placed in multiple “troubled teen” facilities at which the abuse occurred. In some of these places she was kept in solitary confinement for days on end.
“That small room covered in scratch marks and smeared blood with no bathroom is one of the most vivid and traumatizing memories I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” she said.
“Children were restrained, hit, thrown into walls, strangled and sexually abused regularly at Provo.”
Provo is just one of the many school in which the abuse is alleged to have occurred.
As FOX 13 reports, Hilton, who has been a model, reality TV star and singer, has been outspoken about her experience at the Provo Canyon School, where she alleges she was abused in the 1990s.
Hilton has repeatedly called for the school to be closed, including backing an online petition. The school’s new owners have said they took over the facility in 2000 and cannot speak to her experiences there.
However, as Hilton pointed out, one of her abusers was still employed up until last year when her documentary exposed the abuse.
Though this is the first time Hilton has addressed the state with her concerns, she has been outspoken in utterly gut-wrenching videos on social media and a documentary in which she described the abuse that took place at these facilities.
“I am proof that money doesn’t protect against abuse,” Hilton said.
Backing up Hilton’s allegations were other victims who also spoke at the meeting.
“This same treatment model is used across the state right at this moment,” said Caroline Lorson of the group “Breaking Code Silence,” which advocates against these schools.
Jeff Netto said he experienced similar abuse at age 13 in a youth treatment center.
“This ain’t Utah,” he cried. “That’s not how Utah acts, that’s not how we treat our kids.”
Indicating just how big of a problem the abuse is in these facilities, not a single person spoke out against the bill and no one from the schools showed up to contest it.
“Frankly, we failed to protect you,” Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, said to the witnesses. “And I’m sorry about that.”
Though the bill is the first step in protecting children in these facilities, Hilton says it doesn’t go far enough and she is going to fight until all of the abuse stops.
“This bill is definitely going to help a lot of children, but there’s obviously more work to do and I’m not going to stop until change happens,” she told reporters.
Below is a chilling video from Paris Hilton when she spoke out about her abuse last year: