Support proven programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in addressing the trauma of sexual abuse in children and to expand these services to help even more girls. These services incorporate the latest research on developing brains and neuropsychology.
Further expand experiential therapies throughout Youth Villages’ five campuses, which help break through treatment barriers when traditional therapies have not been as effective. These experiential therapies include West African therapeutic drumming, art therapy, music therapy and recreational therapy.
Finally, funds also will be targeted to help girls by providing the critical “extended care” many of them need as they age out of foster care at 18 and make the transition to adulthood with little family support.
Q: Why did Steven Tyler create Janie’s Fund?
A: Steven has long had a desire to help with this issue, leading back to the 1980s when he was in a program for his personal recovery. There, he heard a story of a woman who had experienced incredibly painful and debilitating sexual abuse as a child and how those gruesome events put her on a path of suffering that eventually led to her abusing drugs to mask the pain. When Steven wrote the song “Janie’s Got a Gun” in 1989, he told the 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 what could have been done to prevent that kind of abuse. What kind of help could Janie have received that would have prevented her trauma? How often does sexual abuse like this happen in our country? What can we do about it? 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.
Q: Why is Steven creating Janie’s Fund now?
A: This has been a goal for Steven for many years now. He says at this point in his life, he wants to make sure to focus his energy on things that really matter. It’s very important to him that, as a father and now grandfather, he leaves a legacy. Steven says he wants to spend the remaining time he has left on earth doing what he can to help and support others who are in pain. It’s really important to him. It’s also important to Steven to provide help in the best way. So he sought out the strongest organization with the most effective programs and services to partner with: Youth Villages. At Youth Villages, Janie’s Fund operates under a belief in holistic, trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches to help children overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect. Youth Villages focuses on trauma-informed care and works to build a stable, loving family around a child. More girls need this type of help that has been proven to work.
Q: Why is this issue of abuse and neglect so important to Steven Tyler?
A: Because the prevalence of abuse in our society is alarming. Way too many kids are experiencing abuse and Steven wants to change that. In our country, each year 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 5 girls is sexually abused before they are 18 years old. And experts say these figures reflect under-reporting. All abuse is wrong – whether emotional, verbal, physical or sexual. This is a big problem that demands a big voice. Steven brings his big voice to this cause.
Q: What will donations support specifically?
A: Contributions to Janie’s Fund are used to support programs at Youth Villages that have demonstrated impact in helping girls overcome the deep trauma of abuse and neglect.
Q: How is Janie’s Fund governed?
A: 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.
Q: Why did Steven Tyler choose to partner with Youth Villages to create Janie’s Fund instead of creating his own foundation?
A: Rather than creating something new, Steven chose to seek out the most effective organization already doing this work and getting great results. This will allow Janie’s Fund to begin helping girls immediately. Steven wants to use his voice and influence to leverage Youth Villages’ impact as a much more effective way for him to meet his goals with Janie’s Fund.
Q: What should people do if they learn about or suspect that a child may have been abused?
A: 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.