Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, has opened up yet another home for girls and women who have been abused or neglected. In his hit song, “Janie’s Got a Gun” (1989), Tyler describes the life of a girl named Janie who was abused by her father and gets the ultimate violent revenge as she ends up murdering him in self-defense. Tyler has realized over the course of his life that domestic abuse and violence are plights that needs to be addressed, and his organization “Janie’s Fund” helps to disseminate awareness of this issue.
Janie’s Fund is a philanthropic initiative created by Tyler in partnership with Youth Villages to bring hope to healing girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect. Janie’s Fund also has two important goals: to bring much-needed awareness to this issue and to generate financial support to ensure that girls receive the most effective services available to them to help overcome that sense of helplessness. The first house was opened in 2017 just outside of Atlanta, and this one had its grand opening in Memphis on Feb. 5, 2019. There is a third house expected to open in Las Vegas later this year as well.
This service is extremely important, beneficial, and needed in our society because each year in the United States more than 500,000 children suffer from serious neglect each year, more than 100,000 children are beaten or physically abused, and 68,000 children are raped or sexually abused; one in five girls are sexually abused before they even see their eighteenth birthday according to the Janie’s Fund website.
Tyler’s “Janie’s Houses” are a valiant effort in the hopes of allowing girls and women who have been torn down by emotional and physical trauma to be built back up again, and to have their voices heard – rather than stifled which they had been for too long. In a statement to Billboard magazine, Tyler says, “the mission of Janie’s Fund does my heart and soul good. This is real – just when the world feels over, you can turn into a butterfly.” His statement shows that as women who have been affected by abuse and neglect, we can overcome anything when given the right tools to prosper.
A note from Janie’s Fund:
If you or someone you know may be experiencing abuse or neglect, please call the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or visit childhelp.org/hotline/ for help. Anyone can report suspected child abuse or neglect, and reporting can save a child’s life. For state-specific info, visit Childwelfare.gov. Your call can protect a child and get help for a family.