The legislation for facilities that treat teens with behavioral and mental health issues gained final approval in the Legislature in early March, about a month after Hilton gave emotional testimony in support of the bill. Gov. Spencer Cox signed the bill last month but held a ceremonial signing with Hilton on Tuesday.
The new law will require more government oversight of youth residential treatment centers and documentation for when they use restraints. It will also prohibit treatment centers from using sedation or mechanical restraints without prior authorization.
Hilton testified she was abused mentally and physically at a Utah boarding school, where she said staff members would beat her, force her to take unknown pills, watch her shower and send her to solitary confinement without clothes as punishment.
The socialite and reality TV star also spoke about the abuse in a documentary titled “This is Paris” that was released this fall.
Since the documentary was released, other celebrities have spoken out about their experiences at the school or others like it, including Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson and tattoo artist Kat Von D.
Multiple former students and even one former staff member of the school stood in support of Hilton’s allegations in previous interviews with Fox News, ultimately dubbing her a “hero.”
She has worked closely with the Breaking Code Silence movement which is made up of survivors raising awareness about institutional child abuse around the nation. Members of the movement previously told Fox News on that Hilton is “absolutely” the reason the issue made its way to the state Senate committee floor.
In her February testimony, Hilton said she still suffers from nightmares and insomnia due to her past abuse at Provo Canyon School. The school has previously declined to comment, claiming that because it is under new ownership since Hilton’s attendance they cannot comment.
If you or a child you know is suffering from abuse, please contact The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.