A Song For Change: Paris Hilton's "I Blame You"
39-year-old heiress and influencer Paris Hilton released a catchy, upbeat new dance single on Friday dedicated to her boyfriend, Carter Reum. She credits him as support in healing from the trauma of her experience in the Troubled Teen Industry.
Hilton revealed that all proceeds from her single "I Blame You" will go to Breaking Code Silence, an organization led by a network of survivors and activists raising awareness about the shocking and abusive nature of the Troubled Teen Industry.
In This Is Paris, her Youtube documentary, Hilton opens up about her struggle to recover from her time at Provo Canyon School, a boarding school for troubled teens. The institution markets itself as a "compassionate behavioral health center" in Provo, Utah, but a history of mental and physical abuse accusations dating back to the 1980's contradicts the school's advertisements.
Elizabeth Abeyesekera, who was a resident at Provo Canyon School in 1999, spoke to The Salt Lake Tribune, stating "you get so used to the abuse and the control that you can't differentiate between being loved and being abused." Several other former residents of the school have come forward, recounting the beatings, forced medication, and solitary confinement imposed on residents of the school.
Hilton referred to her time at Provo Canyon School as "the worst of the worst," remembering the trauma undergone by the residents, saying that, "some people in that place were just gone. The lights were on, but no one was home."
Shortly after Hilton left, Provo Canyon's parent company, Charter Behavioral Health Systems, filed for bankruptcy, under intense scrutiny for allegations of medical fraud and inappropriate treatment at facilities across the country. Several months later, Charter Behavioral Health Systems sold Provo Canyon School, among other properties, to Universal Health Services.
Despite new ownership, allegations of abuse and mistreatment in these facilities continue today, leaving many teens traumatized for life: "I still have a problem if I am touched a certain way,” Kyra Lewis, survivor of Provo Canyon School in 2003, said. “It scares me if someone yells at me. We have to find a way to change how we do mental health. Teenagers should not be drugged up and ignored. They are telling the truth, and their perspective is real to them.”
In response to Paris Hilton's statements regarding her time at Provo Canyon School, a representative from the institution has told several media outlets that, "originally opened in 1971, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time."
Though Universal Health Services refuses to acknowledge the atrocities committed in past years at their enterprises, Hilton utilizes her platform to demand reformation of the Troubled Teen Industry, a field of which's damage extends far beyond the work of company Universal Health Services.
Listen to Hilton's single below and let us know what you think.