Paris Hilton on Wednesday revealed her nightmarish experience at a Utah treatment center for troubled teens where she was sleep-deprived, over-medicated and forced to submit to random midnight gynecological exams in front of male staff.
Hilton, 41, held a morning press conference calling for the passage of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act that would increase reporting and monitoring of these institutions and end what she called a “crisis children’s human rights tragically neglected”.
The hotel heiress also wrote an op-ed in USA Today that details some of the abusive treatment she says she suffered at the Provo Canyon school in Utah, where her parents sent her for a year in the 1990s to treat his attention deficit disorder with the institution’s “tough love” treatment.
Paris Hilton, 41, brought a simulation of a solitary confinement cell to show the public what it was like to be locked in such a small space
“On the first day, I was forced to remove all my clothes, squat and cough, and undergo a gynecological examination – all closely watched by male staff,” she wrote. in the opinion piece.
“Although it was an extremely uncomfortable experience, I was led to believe it was a legitimate street check for contraband.
“But what I couldn’t understand at 16, why would this internal exam be done to me frequently while I was in Provo, and only in the middle of the night.”
Hilton detailed the ordeal she endured in her 2020 documentary “This is Paris” describing how her parents were “cheated” into sending her to the facility.
She said she was regularly woken at night by staff shining a flashlight in her face, then taken to the ‘examination room’ where she was forced to lie on a padded table, spread the legs and submit to a pelvic examination.
“I remember crying as they held me down,” she said in her op-ed. ‘I kept saying ‘No!’ a ‘Why?’ They just said ‘Shut up. Be quiet. Stop struggling or you’ll go to the Obs.
Obs was another name for solitary confinement, a cold room with evacuation and a toilet roll where she was held scantily clad. She said she would pace the Obs floor until she couldn’t take it anymore.
The experience left him with lasting emotional scars.
“I’m still processing the trauma, doing the hard work it takes to tell the whole story in a memoir that will be released next year,” she said.
The Provo Canyon school, where Paris Hilton spent a year, regularly gave her gynecological exams in the middle of the night. If she resisted, they would force her into solitary confinement
Hilton called for passage of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act that would cut funding for these institutions
Hilton comforts another survivor of a treatment center for troubled teens after a press conference in Washington, D.C. to promote the issue
Obs was a particularly traumatic experience for her.
“Isolation has always been one of the sources of my recurring nightmares since leaving Provo,” she wrote on her Instagram account, accompanying a photo of herself in a fake solitary confinement cell. ‘Helplessness and helplessness stay with you.
“But here, today, I am taking back my power. This solitary kiosk represents the environment to which young people are subjected in residential treatment programs.
“It was so important to me to bring this booth to Capitol Hill so that policy makers could learn about and empathize with this community.
“We need to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse law! I hope members on both sides will hear our voice and take action! »
The teen treatment center, where a 12-month stay costs up to $300,000, has previously faced charges of assaulting, drugging and sexually abusing its clients.
She said she was not the only one being abused. There were many girls who were overmedicated and sleep deprived and abused.
“This was especially true for the girls who were dragged into these bogus medical exams and the ones the adult male staff ogled while we showered,” she wrote.
“If we tried to protest or question anything, they said it was a bad dream. They told us to stop making things up.
“But looking back on those experiences of a grown woman, I can recognize those exams for what they were: child molestation.”
Hilton said she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia as a result of the experience.
Hilton was joined by an upstart group called Unsilenced, which was formed to provide support for victims of these facilities, push for passage of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, and educate the public and lawmakers about their abuses.
Unsilenced co-founder Meg Appelgate, who spent four years in group treatment centers in Wyoming and Montana, said Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley and Congressman of Silicon Valley Ro Khanna (D-Cal.) are all behind the legislation.
The federal law would end the billion-dollar industry it says preys on vulnerable families. The bill would block public funds like Medicaid, Title IV-E and special education funding from going to these types of institutions.
Provo Canyon School did not return a message left for comment.
The Provo Canyon School for Troubled Teens has previously been accused of abuse, including by Paris Hilton, who launched a campaign to close the school.
Paris Hilton wears shirt labeled ‘survivor’ during protest outside school