Paris Hilton has launched a protest outside her former boarding school after opening up about the abuse she allegedly suffered there in her recent documentary, This Is Paris.
Hilton staged the demo along fellow former students of the Provo Canyon School and other, similar institutions, at a nearby park.
“It’s something so traumatic that you don’t even want to think it’s real,” Hilton told the crowd of her time at the school.
“It’s something I blocked from my memory for forever.”
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Yesterday was one of the most empowering moments of my life! Returning to the place that has haunted my nightmares since I was a teen. Being there surrounded by hundreds of other survivors who have all endured the same pain & abuses that I have. Showing our abusers that we will no longer be silent & expose them for all the evil terrible things that they have done. Taking back our power & making it loud & clear that this child abuse needs to end! Thank you all yesterday for your kind words of love & encouragement. I was blown away by the love & support. You are all such incredible people in the survivor community. I admire your strength, bravery, resilience & passion. And I love and stand with you all! #iSeeYouSurvivor @BreakingCodeSilence 🙌 This is just the beginning!
Hilton was sent to the school as a 17-year-old because her parents thought she was partying too much in the NYC nightlife scene. It was the last in a long line of programs she was sent away to.
The teen spent 11 months in the institution, and she claims staff beat her, watched her shower, forced her to take unknown pills and locked her in isolation, all of which she described as “torture”.
Hilton hadn’t been back to the school since she was a teenager, and said on Instagram that returning was “one of the most empowering moments” of her life.
The protesters marched in silence – because they say their schools kept them silent – and wore matching black t-shirts with the word “survivor” written on them.
The school said on its website that it’s not in a position to comment because it was under different ownership at the time when Hilton was enrolled.
“While we acknowledge there are individuals over the many years who believe they were not helped by the program, we are heartened by the many stories former residents share about how their stay was a pivot point in improving – and in many cases, saving – their lives,” it said in a statement.
In addition to the protest, Hilton has also set up a Change.org petition to shut down Provo Canyon, and also said she won’t stop until all other abusive schools are shut down for good.
“Provo Canyon is just the first one that I want to go down,” she said.
“From there, it will be a domino effect.”Image: Instagram / @parishilton