Paris Hilton has welcomed a bill reforming teenage treatment centres in the state of Utah, following a recent testimony in front of state lawmakers about her own ordeal.
The 40-year-old media personality said she was “grateful” and “so glad” to see the signing of the bill by state governor Spencer Cox on Tuesday, reported PEOPLE.com.
It was passed by state lawmakers in February following the testimonies of Ms Hilton and others of the suffering they witnessed while attending “troubled teen” boarding schools – of which Utah has nearly a hundred.
Ms Hilton, who testified against the Provo Canyon boarding school in Utah, said she both experienced and saw teenagers being restrained by staff, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Others, according to the media personality and campaigner, were thrown against walls, beaten, and sexually abused by Provo Canyon. She first made the revelations in a documentary, “This is Paris”, last year.
“Ever since my documentary ‘This Is Paris’ came out last year and I told my story for the first time, I’ve received thousands of letters from survivors sharing their stories with me,” Ms Hilton told PEOPLE.com.
“Reading them broke my heart and I made a promise to myself, the children still at these treatment centres, and all survivors that I would continue to use my voice and fight until laws were changed across the country,” she continued.
“I’m grateful that the State Legislature of Utah has recognised the injustice and mistreatment happening at these facilities, and I’m so glad that this bill being signed into law will ensure more regulation of these centres and protection for children,” Ms Hilton said.
The bill officially signed into law on Tuesday introduces official oversight of the state’s treatment centres for “troubled” teenagers for the first time in 15 years.
Techniques including sedation now require prior authorisation from Utah officials, while documentation must be filed for any instances of restraining or isolation, the Tribune reported.
State senator Mike McKell, the bill’s main sponsor, said the reforms were “long overdue” and according to the Tribune, would introduce further measures in future, as did Ms Hilton.
She added to PEOPLE.com: “We will continue pushing this issue to the federal level so that laws protecting teens and children are made in all 50 states.”