Janie’s Got a Fund
Just when I think I couldn’t love Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler more than I already do, he creates a safe place for abused girls – Janie’s House.
Speaking as a child abuse survivor, music was and still is my safe haven. Aerosmith, along with so many other bands and artists are my therapy. I wouldn’t have survived my childhood without the world of music to escape the physical and emotional abuse. “Dream On” is one of my favorite Aerosmith songs and a song that I use to escape into because the lyrics seem so realistic. I wanted to dream on and wake up in a home where people loved me and didn’t want to hurt me or force me to do things that I didn’t want to do that no child should have to endure.
My favorite lines of “Dream On” are:
Sing with me, sing for a year, Sing for the laughter, and sing for my tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
All rights to “Dream On” belong to Aerosmith.
I always took these lines to mean that life has its ups and downs and that we need to live in the moment as life passes by quickly and tomorrow is not promised.
Sadly, I have yet to see Aerosmith in concert, but I hope to one day soon. A friend offered me tickets to a concert in Atlanta over 10 years ago that I declined. My husband’s mother was in town and he thought it would be rude for me not to spend time with her. Little did I know that after I declined the ticket offer, my husband would be offered Atlanta Hawks tickets for that same night as the concert and HE accepted leaving me to entertain his mother. Needless to say, we got into an argument over that little incident. Note to self: Never decline Aerosmith tickets under any circumstances.
When I heard Steven Tyler on the Ryan Seacrest morning show talking about the opening of Janie’s House, I wanted to write about it and help spread the news. My goal is to volunteer there and to be an example to the girls that there is a way out of the life they were forced to endure. There is a way to forgive the people that caused you harm although you can never forget what was done to you. You can find love and have a family and be everything to your children that you didn’t receive. That with the help of therapy, you can heal and live a happy and healthy life.
Steven Tyler told Ryan Seacrest that while he was in rehab in the 1980’s, he discovered that most of the women in there were battered and beaten and abused verbally and sexually in huge numbers. He said it was seven to eight out of 10 of the women he encountered there told him similar circumstances. These women told Steven how the gruesome events during their childhood put them on a path of suffering that eventually led them to abuse drugs to mask their pain.
In 2015, Steven Tyler partnered with one of America’s most effective nonprofits, Youth Villages, to create Janie’s Fund. Janie’s Fund is a philanthropic initiative designed specifically to bring hope and healing for many of our country’s most vulnerable girls who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect.
Janie’s Fund, through Youth Villages, opened the first Janie’s House in the Atlanta area in 2017. Janie’s House provides a home for up to 30 girls. Therapy and medical care are provided for each of the girls to help them reconstruct their lives.
Steven co-wrote the song “Janie’s Got a Gun” in 1989, which tells a story of a young girl who is abused by her father. Over the 26 years since that song was released, Steven says he has often thought about the impact of sexual abuse. With Janie’s Fund, Steven is using his big voice to give a voice to the thousands of victims who haven’t had one. He feels this is his life’s work and legacy.
Watch the Grand Opening of Janie’s House – Atlanta:
Video courtesy of Janie’s Fund
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Grammy winner Steven Tyler has established himself as an artist of the highest caliber as the front-man of the legendary rock band Aerosmith. Despite his lengthy resume and many achievements, he considers Janie’s Fund to be his life’s true mission.
Janie’s Fund is currently accepting donations for at-risk girls at janiesfund.org/give.
Janie’s Fund is a restricted fund and is part of the Youth Villages Foundation (a 501c3 charitable organization) that is governed by a six-person board of directors. The Foundation is charted to solely support the work of Youth Villages Inc. (a 501c3 organization). Janie’s Fund has an Executive Council board comprising 12 individuals who are charged with offering strategic advice and support for ongoing awareness, advocacy, and fundraising efforts.
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What is child abuse?
Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failure to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.
If you see signs of abuse with anyone you know, or are a victim of child abuse, get help right away.