Paris Hilton pushes for reform in the troubled teen industry and opens up about her severe PTSD

‘Tough love camps’ have left thousands traumatized

Paris Hilton has shared more heartbreaking stories about the alleged abuse she suffered at troubled teen facilities over 20 years ago. This time, she did it in Washington DC, pushing for US reform in the “troubled teen industry.” A the US Capitol Hilton advocated for accountability alongside survivors, advocates, and a group of Democratic lawmakers including Senator Jeff Merkely and Representative Ro Khanna while detailing her horrific experiences. “I was strangled, slapped across the face, watched in the shower by male staff, called vulgar names,” Hilton said. Read the details below.


Merkely and Khanna are co-sponsoring the new Accountability for Congregate Care Act, which will soon be introduced in both houses of Congress, per Rolling Stone. “I’m confident that this bill will create a world where all youth have the support and opportunity to heal, thrive, and not just survive,” Hilton said Wednesday.

Hilton was 16 years old when she thought she was being kidnapped by 2 men in the middle of the night, only to find out her parents decided to send her to a lockdown facility across the country. “My parents were promised that tough love would fix me and that sending me across the country was the only way,” she said during her speech adding she has “over 20 years of trauma” and ”severe PTSD” that “haunts her to this day.” Along with being “strangled and slapped” she said she was “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.“

Paris Hilton Bill of Rights Presser©GettyImages

Hilton went on to say “the multibillion-dollar troubled teen industry has been able to mislead parents, school districts, child welfare agencies, and juvenile justice systems” and blamed a ”systemwide lack of transparency and accountability.” ”I wish I could tell you that what I experienced was unique or even rare - but sadly it’s not,“ she said in her speech. ”Every day in America, children in congregate care settings are being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. Children are even dying at the hands of those responsible for their care.” Hilton then pointed to the 2020 death of 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks who died in a Michigan facility after he was restrained by staff.

Advocates for change and lawmakers including congressman Adam Schiff were also in attendance as Hilton and other survivors shared their stories. “For too long, bad actors in the troubled teen industry have been allowed to prey on desperate parents and vulnerable children and make child abuse their business model,” Mr. Schiff said. “Facilities that abuse children under the guise of care have absolutely no place in our society and I will continue to push for strong legislation that increases regulation, oversight, and transparency,” he added.

In an oped published to the Washintgon Post earlier this week Hilton called for President Biden and Congress to provide funding so states can hold facilities accountable and a “bill of rights” for young people in congregate care facilities. “Ensuring that children, including at-risk children, are safe from institutional abuse, neglect and coercion isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue,” Hilton wrote. “It’s a basic human rights issue that requires immediate action. Those in power have an obligation to protect the powerless.”

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