Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has been selected to receive the 2016 Humanitarian Award from the Hospitality Committee for United Nations Delegations.
The award recognizes his philanthropic work with Youth Villages through his Janie’s Fund which was created in 2015 to give his voice to vulnerable girls who have experienced the trauma of abuse and neglect.
Tyler said “As a father to three daughters, a son, and, now a grandfather, it broke my heart to learn that each year in America alone 700,000 children are victims of serious abuse or neglect and 68,000 will be sexually abused. All abuse is wrong — verbal, physical, sexual, emotional. We need to have better ways as parents to help our children and support them. Way too many kids are experiencing abuse, and we want to change that. Enough is enough.”
Tyler has long had a desire to help with this issue, dating back to the 1980s when he was in a program for his own recovery. Hearing the personal accounts of women who had experienced incredibly painful and debilitating sexual abuse as children, he saw how the abuse put them on a path of suffering, post-traumatic stress and other disorders that eventually led to substance problems. It was their plight that inspired Tyler to compose the song, Janie’s Got A Gun.
“I personally know how addiction can fracture lives,” Tyler said. “I don’t wish that on anyone. To use my voice and the voices of many others to help these girls once again find their voice is my mission.”
Mel Gee Henderson, HCUND co-chair, said “In choosing this year’s recipient, we searched diligently to find the humanitarian whose efforts are in harmony with the Secretary General, who will be saluted at this year’s Ambassadors’ Ball as his decade of UN leadership ends on December 31.We came to realize Steven Tyler is not only a gifted composer and musician with a great big voice but a soul with an even bigger heart who sincerely wants to help those suffering from the horrific pain of abuse.”
Chairman Luz MacArthur added “Tyler may seem an unexpected choice at first glance but the more we learned about Janie’s Fund, the more convinced we were that Tyler is the person who can genuinely affect and inspire millions to help in the fight against violence inflicted upon girls and women, not just in the U.S. but around the world.”