Uncategorized

Paris Hilton speaks about child welfare on Capitol Hill: ‘A life or death responsibility’

California socialite Paris Hilton, great-granddaughter of Hilton hotel chain founder Conrad Hilton, gave a grave warning to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday about child welfare in the foster system and other youth facilities. “Progress isn’t an option anymore,” Hilton said at the committee hearing. “It’s a life or death responsibility.” Hilton was […]

California socialite Paris Hilton, great-granddaughter of Hilton hotel chain founder Conrad Hilton, gave a grave warning to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday about child welfare in the foster system and other youth facilities.

“Progress isn’t an option anymore,” Hilton said at the committee hearing. “It’s a life or death responsibility.” Hilton was there with three other witnesses to testify about “strengthening child welfare and protecting America’s children.”

Hilton endorsed reauthorizing Title IV-B, a source of funding for child welfare agencies and community-based organizations, and the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act, which is co-sponsored by 60 Democrats and 43 Republicans and aims to establish a federal work group on youth residential programs, among other things.

She also spoke about her own sustained abuse in a youth residential facility.

“When I was 16 years old, I was ripped from my bed in the middle of the night and transported
across state lines to the first of four youth residential treatment facilities,” Hilton said.

“These programs promised ‘healing, growth, and support’ but instead did not allow me to speak, move freely, or even look out of a window for two years. I was force-fed medications and sexually abused by
staff. I was violently restrained and dragged down hallways, stripped naked, and thrown into
solitary confinement. My parents were completely deceived — lied to and manipulated by this
for-profit industry … so can you only imagine the experience for youth who don’t have anyone
checking in on them?”

Paris Hilton awaits her testimony in front of the House Ways and Means Committee on June 26, 2024. (Photography by Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

Hilton largely spoke and responded to questions via prepared remarks, though she did answer a question from Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) without looking down to read off sheets of paper. He thanked her for her “compelling and courageous” testimony.

The socialite also mentioned the abuse of Cornelius Fredericks, who died after being restrained by a facility’s staff members, as well as Ja’Ceon Terry, who also died because of restraint from staff members.

“Sixteen-year-old Cornelius Fredericks was placed in a facility because his mom tragically died and
his dad was in prison. His life ended after being restrained by eight staff members for nearly 10
minutes after innocently throwing a sandwich crust in the cafeteria,” Hilton said.

The testimony on the two cases added an emotional component to her appeal, saying those stories “break my heart.”

“Ja’Ceon Terry’s life ended at just 7 years old,” Hilton added. “In his final hours, he was publicly shamed, verbally abused, left in his room alone for nearly six hours, and physically restrained by staff
members until he lost consciousness. When first responders arrived, there was vomit in his
mouth and throat, running down his cheeks and onto the floor.”

Hilton noted her support for prior youth matters before issuing her warning, hinting to Congress that inaction wasn’t an option.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“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’m not giving up on you. You are important, your future is important, and
you deserve every opportunity to be safe and supported,” Hilton concluded.

“Congress, please join me in creating a world where all children have a right to family, love,
education, and the support they need,” she said.

Share this article:
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

See also  Watch: Biden Scrambles, Defends Saying to Put Trump in 'Bullseye' Before Shooting During Bizarre Rant