Virginia mom joins Paris Hilton at Capitol to fight child abuse at facilities

Virginia mom joins Paris Hilton at Capitol to fight child abuse at facilities
Posted at 9:56 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 06:52:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Virginia mother featured in a CBS 6 Problem Solvers Investigation was at Capitol Hill on Wednesday to advocate alongside celebrity Paris Hilton.

Renee Hanania spoke at a news conference with Hilton about the lack of government oversight of youth residential care facilities.

As CBS 6 first reported in February 2020, Hanania filed a report with the Virginia State Police alleging that her son Branden was neglected and abused at the Cumberland Children's Hospital in New Kent County.

Dozens of former Cumberland patients or their family members have made similar accusations.

Cumberland is owned by the company Universal Health Services (UHS). The company also owns the Provo Canyon School in Utah, a youth residential treatment center where Hilton said she was abused in the 1990s.

UHS didn't own Provo Canyon when Hilton was there, but there have been more allegations of abuse and mistreatment since they took over.

"We will work for broad bipartisan support of the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act to make sure it passes and becomes law. We are not playing politics with children's lives," Hilton said.

"There needs to be greater protections for our children in institutional care settings. Our children deserve it, Brandon deserves it and our voices will never be silenced," Hanania said.

Hanania, Hilton and others involved with Wednesday's event are pushing for federal regulations that they hope will prevent the abuse of kids in congregate care facilities.



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