Paris Hilton Speaks Out Against Institutional Child Abuse: 'I Remember Crying While They Held Me Down'

Paris Hilton has advocated for federal law to end institutional child abuse, as she spoke out about her experiences at a Utah treatment center for troubled teens.
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The reality TV star, now 41, said at a press conference on Wednesday morning that during her stay at the facility she was sleep-deprived, overmedicated, and subjected to random midnight gynecological exams while male staffers watched.

Her statement was part of an event at Capitol Hill calling for the passage of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which would increase the supervision of institutions and help prevent future abuse.

As well as opening up to reporters, the hotel heiress also put her experiences of abuse in writing. In an op-ed for USA Today, she detailed the inappropriate practices she was subjected to a Provo Canyon School, where her parents sent her when she was 16 to try and fix her attention deficit disorder.

"On my first day, I was forced to remove all my clothes, squat and cough, and submit to a gynecological exam - all watched closely by male staff," Hilton recalled, adding that these examinations "would be done to me frequently during my time at Provo, and only in the middle of the night."

Later in the article, Hilton described how she would cry and struggle while staff held her down for the invasive examinations. If she fought back too hard, they would threaten to send her to solitary confinement, or "Obs".

"Obs – short for observation – was solitary confinement in a tiny cinderblock room with nothing but a drain and a roll of toilet paper. The room was freezing cold, and I was almost naked," she wrote.

"Looking back on these experiences as an adult woman, I can recognize these exams for what they were: the sexual assault of children," Hilton continued, adding: "Anyone can recognize this isn’t treatment; it’s torture."

The star went on to say that her experiences at Provo left her with psychological scars that she is still working to heal. "I’m still processing the trauma, doing the hard work it takes to tell the whole story in a memoir that will be published next year," she wrote.

However, she added that the pain of speaking out is worth it if it means that future children will be spared the abuse she was subjected to.

"It takes all my courage to talk about it, but I couldn’t stand knowing that children as young as 8 years old are being sent to these 'troubled teen' programs by parents who don’t know and government agencies that don’t care," Hilton wrote.

In a post on her Instagram from the Capitol Hill rally, the star urged policymakers to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, saying: "It is my hope that members on both sides will hear our voice & take action!"

The law would stop public funds like Medicaid, Title IV-E, and special education funding from going towards correctional institutions, and help put an end to the billion-dollar industry per MailOnline.

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