Paris Hilton has testified to US congress about her own alleged experience of childhood abuse

Paris Hilton testifies to US Congress in June 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 'Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act' is a bill that has been gaining momentum in America this week, with calls for a change to child welfare programs.

The issue was discussed in US Congress on Wednesday, with Paris Hilton, 43, among the high profile figures urging US lawmakers to pass the bill.

Hilton - a long-time advocate for children in youth facilities, testified before Congress to call for the modernisation of child welfare programs, opening up about her own alleged experience of childhood abuse during her time in youth residential treatment facilities.

The reality star spent two of her teenage years at a private youth facility in Utah, claiming that the alleged "inhumane" treatment and abuse that she suffered there will affect her for the rest of her life.

"When I was 16 years old, I was ripped from my bed in the middle of night and transported across state lines to the first of four residential facilities," Hilton explained in her testimony.

“I was force-fed medications and sexually abused by the staff," she continued, detailing some of the alleged abuse that she suffered there. "I was violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked, and thrown into solitary confinement."

Hilton went on to report that her parents were not aware of what was happening at the facility, stating that they were "continually being lied [to] and manipulated by the staff".

"They just thought it was going to be a normal boarding school," she continued. "And when I got there, there was no therapy. We would just constantly be torn down, abused, screamed and yelled at."

Hilton also told Congress that her interaction with her family was monitored during her time at the residential facilities, alleging that she would be punished for speaking out.

"If I said even one negative thing about the facility, they immediately would hang up the phone and then I would be punished and either physically beaten or thrown into solitary confinement," she stated.

“These programs promised healing, growth and support, but instead, did not allow me to speak, move freely or even look out a window for two years."

We will continue to update this report.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.