Paris Hilton, 41, on Wednesday revealed her nightmare experience at a teen treatment center in Utah, where she was sleep deprived, over-medicated and forced to undergo random midnight gynecology exams as male staffers watched.
Hilton held a morning press conference calling for the passage of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which would increase reporting and oversight of these institutions and end what she says is a “tragicly overlooked human rights crisis for children’.
The heiress of the hotel also wrote an opinion piece USA today that describes some of the violent treatment she endured at the Provo Canyon School, in Utah, where her parents sent her for a year in the 1990s to address her attention deficit disorder with the “tough love” treatment of the institution.
Paris Hilton, 41, released a simulation of a solitary confinement cell to show the public what it felt like to be trapped in such a small space
“On my first day, I had to take off all my clothes, squat and cough, and undergo a gynecological examination — all closely monitored by male staff,” she wrote in the op-ed. “Although it was an extremely uncomfortable experience, I was led to believe that it was a legitimate, routine check for contraband. But what I didn’t understand as a 16-year-old was why I was often given that internal exam during my time at Provo, and only in the middle of the night.’
Hilton described the ordeal she endured in her 2020 documentary “This is Paris,” in which she describes how her parents were “frauded” into sending her to the facility.
She said she was routinely awakened at night by staff who shine a flashlight in her face and then taken to the ‘examination room’ where she was forced to lie down on a padded table, spread her legs and submit to a pelvic exam.
“I remember crying while they held me,” she said in her op-ed. ‘I kept saying ‘No!’ a question ‘Why?’ They just said ‘Shut up. Be quiet. Stop wrestling or you’ll go to Obs.’
Obs was another name for solitary confinement, a cold guest room with a drain and a roll of toilet paper where she was kept barely clothed. She said she would pace the floor in Obs until she couldn’t stand.
The experience has left her lasting emotional scars.
“I’m still processing the trauma and doing the hard work it takes to tell the full story in a memoir to be published next year,” she said.
The Provo Canyon School, where Paris Hilton spent a year, routinely gave her gynecological exams in the middle of the night. If she resisted, they would force her into solitary confinement
Hilton called for the passing of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which would reduce funding for these institutions
Hilton comforts another teen treatment center survivor after a press conference in Washington, DC to promote the issue
Obs was a particularly traumatic experience for her.
“Lonely has always been one of the sources of my recurring nightmares since I left Provo,” she wrote on her Instagram account, accompanying a photo of her in a simulated solitary cell. ‘The helplessness & powerlessness stays with you. But here, today, I take back my power. This solitary position represents the environment to which youth in residential treatment programs are exposed. It was so important to me to bring this booth to Capitol Hill so policymakers can experience and empathize with this community. We must pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act! I hope members on both sides will hear our voices and take action!’
The teen treatment center, where a 12-month stay costs up to $300,000, has faced past allegations of beating, drugging and sexually abusing its clients
She said she wasn’t the only one being mistreated. There were many over-medication and sleep-deprived girls who were abused.
“This was especially true for girls who got dragged into those fake medical exams and those who adult male staff members lurked at while we showered,” she wrote. “If we tried to protest or question something, they said it was a bad dream. They told us to stop making things up. But when I look back on this adult woman’s experience, I recognize these exams for what they were: child sexual assault.”
Hilton said she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia from the experience.
Hilton was joined by a fledgling group called Unsilenced, which was formed to provide support to victims of these facilities, lobby for the adoption of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, and educate the public and lawmakers about their abuse.
Unsilenced co-founder Meg Appelgate, who spent four years in group treatment centers in Wyoming and Montana, said Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley and Silicone Valley Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Cal.) were all behind the legislation.
The federal law would end the multi-billion dollar industry that she says falls prey to vulnerable families. The bill would prevent public funds such as Medicaid, Title IV-E, and special education funding from going to these types of institutions.
The Provo Canyon School did not return a message for comment.
The Provo Canyon school for troubled teens has faced previous abuse allegations, most notably by Paris Hilton, who has launched a campaign to shut the school down
Source: New feed