In November of 1989, Aerosmith released its hit song “Janie’s Got a Gun.” The song, as the title implies, took a direct route to the issue of child abuse.
Now Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who co-wrote the song, has announced a partnership with nonprofit Youth Villages in Memphis: “Janie’s Fund” will have the goal of providing trauma-informed care and experiential therapies to girls who have histories of being abused and/or neglected.
Each year, it is estimated that one in five girls in the United States is a victim of sexual abuse.
“As a father and grandfather, I want to focus my energy on things that really matter and leave behind something else in this crazy world along with my music,” Tyler said in a statement.
Janie’s Fund will have “54 days of impact;” the campaign started on Nov. 8, the 26th anniversary of the song’s release, and will run through the end of the year.
Youth Villages will use Janie’s Fund in several ways: to support its work with girls who have been abused and neglected, including in intensive in-home services; for residential treatment services; for YVLifeSet services for girls aging out of foster care; and in experiential therapies such as therapeutic drumming.
Anyone who signs up to support Janie’s Fund during these 54 days becomes a founding member and receives limited-edition merchandise from Tyler. Fans can visit Prizeo.com/StevenTyler to become a founding member. Supporters also can register to win the Ultimate Rock Icon Experience with Steven Tyler prize, which includes walking the red carpet and VIP backstage passes to Tyler’s new solo album release party and concert as well as hanging with Tyler before and after the show. In addition, founding members are recognized in perpetuity on JaniesFund.org.
“We appreciate Steven using his big voice on these girls’ behalf,” said Patrick Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages.
During the past 10 years, the organization has helped more than 20,000 girls who have experienced abuse and/or neglect and expects to help nearly 4,000 such girls this year in its programs in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
– Don Wade