Paris Hilton has urged survivors of childhood abuse to share their experiences to prevent it from happening to others.
In February, the US socialite and TV star told lawmakers in Utah she was “verbally, mentally and physically abused on a daily basis” while she was at boarding school in the state.
She has campaigned for tighter regulations in education.
Speaking at the One Young World event on Saturday, Hilton said it is “so important to use your voice”.
She added: “For me it was so traumatic that I didn’t speak about it for 20 years, because what I went through was just so horrible that I didn’t even want to think that it was real.”
Hilton said speaking out was “one of the most empowering moments of my life”.
She added she is “so proud to have told my story and used my voice and really turned my pain into a purpose”.
“I had no idea that one day I would literally be changing laws that are going to affect so many children.
“I just know that myself as a little girl would be so proud of the woman I am today.
“This is just the beginning – we’ve done Utah so far and now I want to take this to a federal level so this no longer happens to any children.”
She added that those who have gone through childhood abuse should speak out and tell their story.
“It’s so healing and it’s so important for all of us to really expose these people for what they’re doing so it doesn’t happen any more,” she said.
During the event, Hilton also discussed her engagement to Carter Reum, which was announced earlier this year.
“He’s just the most incredible and supportive partner,” Hilton said.
“I couldn’t imagine doing all this without him. He has just been there for me, like no other person – flying with me to Utah to support me, always by my side.
“I can’t wait for this next phase in our life and to get married and have a family and just be happy with him forever.”