Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has announced a new charity dedicated to helping girls who have suffered sexual abuse, called “Janie’s Fund” after Aerosmith’s 1989 song “Janie’s Got a Gun.”
The fund, announced on Twitter with the hashtag #JaniesGotAFund, will be a part of the non-profit organization Youth Villages and will seek to help girls who’ve been sexually abused cope with their trauma, in part through programs like “West African therapeutic drumming, art therapy, music therapy and recreational therapy,” according to its website. It will also provide “extended care” to girls who’ve left the foster care system after age 18.
Since writing the song about a girl who kills her abusive father, Tyler said he had wondered what he could do to help girls in similar situations. “Over the years,” he said in a personal message on the site, “I’ve been overwhelmed by the thousands of fans who have sent me letters, telling me their stories and how ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’ affected and inspired them.”
“We can’t undo what’s been done by abuse in this country,” he wrote, “but we CAN let these girls know they are loved, get them the help they need, and assure them that there is MUCH LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.”
The fund is now taking donations; those who are experiencing abuse, or know someone who may be experiencing abuse, should call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).