Paris Hilton Testifies To Congress To Protect Foster Kids

Paris Hilton is an American media personality, businesswoman, socialite, model, singer, actress, and DJ. Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton,  who built the brand Hilton Hotels.

She gained fame in the early 2000s for her socialite lifestyle and her role on the reality TV show “The Simple Life” alongside her friend Nicole Richie. The show was a major hit and helped cement her status as a pop culture icon. Paris Hilton has since built a successful career in various fields, including launching her own perfume line, a fashion brand, and a DJ career.

Now, the socialite is fighting social injustice. She journeyed to Capitol Hill on June 26 to advocate for more child welfare protections. This cause is close to her heart because she spent time in a residential youth treatment center as a minor. Her experience was extremely negative.

“These programs promised growth, healing and support but instead did not allow me to speak, move freely or look out a window for two years,” Hilton shared with the House Ways and Means Committee.

“I was force-fed medications and sexually abused by the staff,” she said. “I was violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked and thrown into solitary confinement.”

As a teenager, her parents Rick and Kathy Hilton sent her to a handful of boarding schools for troubled youth. This occurred in the 1990s, Paris is now 43 years old.

The abuse happened in one of the facilities called The Provo Canyon School. Hilton told the committee her parents were “completely deceived, lied to and manipulated” about her “treatment” she received. “And when I got there, there was no therapy. We would just constantly be torn down, abused, screamed at, yelled at. No education whatsoever. I learned nothing there except trauma.”


“While my experience was not through the foster care system, I know from personal experience the harm that is caused by being placed in youth residential treatment facilities. Can you only imagine the experience for youth who were placed by the state and don’t have people regularly checking in on them?”

She shared the accounts of a teenage boy who died in the care of a facility and of an abused 7-year-old child.

Hilton’s goal is for the government to strengthen the oversight of these facilities. “Progress isn’t an option anymore,” Hilton said. “It’s a life or death responsibility.”

“If you are a child in the system, hear my words: I see you. I believe you. I know what you’re going through and I won’t give up on you. “You are important. Your future is important. And you deserve every opportunity to be safe and supported.”

Hilton said she was advocating to be “the voice for children who currently do not have one.”