“Statistics surrounding the viewing of porn are staggering. They point to a sobering picture that includes our faith community,” says Faye Martin, Safe Church Coordinator in British Columbia, who organized several viewings of “Over 18” this past year.
Some of those statistics featured in the documentary, “Over 18”, include:
- 9 in 10 boys and 6 in 10 girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18; The Nature and Dynamics of Internet Pornography Exposure for Youth (access here)
- 40% of teens have created a sexual image or video of themselves, and a quarter have sent this to someone else; Under Pressure ChildLine Review (access here)
- Of minors who have seen online pornography, about 60% saw it for the first time at home; NSPCC and Middlesex University London Report (access here)
Jared Brock, one of the directors of the documentary, will be one of our Safe Church conference presenters this September. On Friday, September 21, join us for his plenary presentation as he shares reflections and stories from life and ministry. This evening, at our conference #Equipped in the #MeToo world, is open to the public. Click here for more details. As well, on the evening of Thursday, September 20, the Calvin College Sexuality Series will also be hosting the documentary, with Jared Brock leading a discussion.
Irene Menken helped organize a viewing of “Over 18” in Classis Toronto this spring. Following the screening, a panel of four shared how the addiction of pornography affected their lives – sexually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They conveyed the importance of not normalizing pornography and lifting up hope for recovery and freedom for those living with addictions. She says, “We recognize that internet porn does not belong in Christian community. It does not honor God or others. It debases rather than celebrates God’s gift of sexuality.” This echoes the CRC’s position statement on pornography which urges that “all members who use pornographic material to arouse sexual desire to recognize that doing so is a sin.”
Both Irene Menken and Faye Martin stress the importance of spreading education and awareness of the harmfulness of pornography. Share news of these opportunities happening next month, consider hosting your own screening event of “Over 18”, and/or find other resources on pornography awareness to share with your church here.