Paris Hilton Advocates For 'Forgotten' Foster Youth And Adoptees As She Recounts Own Abuse To Congress

Paris Hilton has shared her disturbing experiences in youth residential treatment facilities while advocating for foster youth and adopted children on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

During a hearing in front of the House Ways and Means Committee, the celebrity and businesswoman presented a harrowing account of how she was torn away from family and sent to live in treatment centers for troubled youth alongside many children who she says were entirely “forgotten” by the child welfare system.

Noting how even her own wealthy and powerful family was “deceived” about her abuse at the hands of staff at the facilities, the heir to the Hilton hotel dynasty asked lawmakers to “imagine the experience for youth placed by the state and don’t have people regularly checking in on them.”

Paris Hilton testifies during the House Committee on Ways and Means hearing on
Paris Hilton testifies during the House Committee on Ways and Means hearing on "Strengthening Child Welfare and Protecting America's Children" on June 26 in Washington, D.C. Samuel Corum via Getty Images

Hilton recounted how she was “ripped from” her “bed in the middle of the night and transported across state lines” when she was only 16, telling the committee how “These programs promised growth, healing and support but instead did not let me speak freely or even look out a window for two years.”

The former reality star detailed how she was “force-fed medications and sexually abused by staff,” while also being “violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked and thrown into solitary confinement.”

She also shared the stories of Cornelius Fredericks, 16, and Ja’Ceon Terry, 7, two young people who died from abuse suffered during their time at residential treatment facilities.

“Why can’t we as a society see that these kids are hurting?” Hilton asked. “That they need love and kindness, not beatings and restraints.”

“I assure you that these were not the dreams that were envisioned for Cornelius, Ja’Ceon and the thousands more who have suffered immensely,” she added.

In her testimony, Hilton urged members of Congress to reauthorize Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, child welfare legislation that expired in 2021.

She also asked lawmakers to pass the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which aims to strengthen oversight of residential youth programs.

Hilton has been a vocal advocate for change in the for-profit youth treatment industry, previously accusing the Provo Canyon School of extensive abuse during her time at the Utah boarding school.

She previously testified about her experience in front of Congress in 2021.