Paris Hilton spoke on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to lobby for a bill aimed at cracking down on abuse in facilities for troubled teens.
Driving the news: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) is writing a “Bill of Rights” that would guarantee children in youth facilities have the right to call their parents, be free of restraints and have access to clean drinking water and food, according to NBC News.
Context: Hilton, who was joined Wednesday by a group of Democratic House members, has become an activist for regulating congregate facilities for teens.
- In an op-ed published by El Correo de Washington, she wrote that at the four facilities she stayed at over two years she was “choked, slapped across the face, spied on while showering and deprived of sleep.”
- In February, she testified to Utah state lawmakers about the abuse she experienced in the 1990s at a facility in the state, per NBC.
Details: The forthcoming legislation would also affect publicly funded centers such as foster care and psychiatric care facilities, per NBC.
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said they will co-sponsor the bill.
What they’re saying: “The multibillion-dollar troubled teen industry has been able to mislead parents, school districts, child welfare agencies and juvenile justice systems for decades,” Hilton said Wednesday.
- “On behalf of hundreds of thousands of institutional abuse survivors across America, I urge Congress and President Biden to make this bill the law of the land and give young people in congregate care, the rights and protections, they so desperately need and deserve,” Hilton added.