The film Over 18 follows Joseph

The film Over 18 follows Joseph

Screening of porn documentary in Chilliwack to spark community discussion

The doc, Over 18, will be shown on April 23 in the G.W. Graham Theatre, with meaningful age verification for porn sites as part of the goal

Teen porn addiction is a thing.

Yet somehow the topic of the lasting effects of hardcore porn, seared into developing brains, are not often raised in polite circles.

That could change in Chilliwack next month.

Leaders from Crossroads Community Church, Chilliwack Vineyard Community Church, and Hope for the Nations, have organized a screening of the documentary, Over 18, on April 23 at G.W. Graham Theatre.

“We think this is a pervasive societal issue worth making ourselves aware of and talking about,” said Rob Ayer, of Crossroads Community Church, one of the organizers of the screening.

“We think this documentary is an important public health education piece – which we hope will lead to on-topic, hopeful discussions in our local government, schools, and homes.”

The film follows Joseph, a 13-year-old who explains how he became addicted to pornography at the age of just nine, fooling around on his computer from the safety of his family’s living room.

What is becoming obvious is that the word “porn” can mean different things to parents and their kids.

The average porn flick is more graphic and violent towards women today than ever.

Director Jared Brock, founder of the charity, Hope for the Sold, said the hardcore images being accessed aren’t on the same level as the tame photographs that previous generations saw in magazines.

“It’s body-punishing sex,” Brock noted.

Many who have watched porn can fall into believing it’s a realistic depiction of sexual expression. Another study showed 40 per cent of teens have created a sexual image or video of themselves, and a quarter have sent the file to someone else.

Almost all kids have been exposed to online porn by the time they’re 14.

The question is raised about how to create a safe online environment for youth.

It can be tricky since anyone can claim to be an adult and press the “enter” button online to enter a cinematic realm that’s increasingly violent and degrading.

“The film and its creators address the idea of a safe online environment through the idea of ‘informed consent’ – that is, that the age requirement of 18, to view explicit materials be properly authorized,” said Ayer.

There are forces afoot in government circles to make that reality.

The film Over 18 was screened on Parliament Hill last fall, at an event co-hosted by MPs from all five parties. MPs are now working to get legislation passed to see meaningful age verification for pornographic material online.

The film looks at the impacts on everyone — kids, teens, parents and porn stars.

The film is directed and produced by Jared and Michelle Brock.

“This world is dark and broken, and we want to bring light and healing,” write the filmmakers on their website. “We see our role is planting seeds of goodness that can grow into a garden of grace, understanding, and justice.

“We want the world to be a better place, and ignoring tough subjects won’t get us there.”

To find out more go to over18doc.com.