Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler opened a home for abused and neglected girls outside of Memphis in Bartlett, Tennessee, on Monday, the Hill reports. The musician and humanitarian donated $500,000 to renovate and launch Janie’s House.
“This does my heart and my soul good,” Tyler said during a scarf-cutting at the property Monday.
Janie’s House, named after his band’s song “Janie’s Got a Gun” about gun violence in America, operates under Janie’s Fund, through which Tyler partners with the nonprofit youth organization Youth Villages to give abused girls and women the resources they need to succeed. The fund opened the first Janie’s House in Atlanta in 2017 and has already raised about $4 million.
Tyler explained he decided to open the home after dealing with his addiction at a treatment center.
“All the girls I met had been abused either physically, mentally, verbally, you know. At least 90 percent of them all,” Tyler remembered.
There are many women who stand to benefit from programs like Janie’s House. Domestic violence survivors face ongoing challenges after suffering abuse and it takes time before they can adjust to living in a safe environment.
It’s estimated that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40% of the women who experience violence seek help because they are embarrassed, scared, or economically bound to a relationship.
The US also has one of the worst child abuse records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. Poverty and mistreatment of children are inextricably linked –– children with two non-working parents or parents whose income is below 75% are more likely to be abused. Neglect and abuse can erode a child’s mental and physical health, academic outcome, and self-esteem.
Janie’s House will be a safe haven for 14 girls at a time, where they can get support and therapy to pick themselves back up after being abused.
Steven Tyler was in town today for the opening of Janie's House on the Youth Villages campus. The renovated house will be a home for dozens of girls each year who have faced neglect and abuse. pic.twitter.com/zL9wy2nApx— Bartlett Police (@BARTLETTPOLICE) February 4, 2019
JaBrayia, a 14-year-old Janie’s House resident, said the home has been life-changing.
“Through Janie’s House, I can learn a lot about my past and learn I was not the only one that had been through the same problems,” she said.