Out in the Open

She turned her husband in after finding child porn on his computer

For Rachel Carling-Jenkins, there was no question about what she’d do after finding child porn on her husband’s computer.
Rachel Carling-Jenkins is an Australian Member of Parliament . (Courtesy of Rachel Carling-Jenkins)
Listen9:41

For Australian politician, Rachel Carling-Jenkins, it was all about the faces of the young girls she saw on her husband's computer.

That's why Rachel's decision to turn him in after finding out he was looking at child pornography was pretty cut and dry.

"I've got a very strong sense of social justice…so from that background I guess my thoughts were all with the victims at that stage."

After the shock and "hysterics", as Rachel describes it, of finding out her husband of 10 years was looking at child pornography, Rachel and her son left their home and called the police.

Her now ex-husband was sentenced to four months in prison for one count of knowingly possessing child pornography.

"Look, I do understand the complexities of families. I do understand that people go into denial when they discover someone close to them has done something awful and they don't want to believe it. They don't want to acknowledge it. I couldn't do anything but because it was there right in front of me on his computer."

Rachel received a lot of support for turning her husband in and for going public about her experience in Australia's parliament. 

But, Rachel also received pushback.

"I think it goes back to that, 'Why didn't you stand by him?' 'Why are you talking about this?' There was a bit of victim blaming. People saying, 'What was wrong with you?' 'How could you not have known?'

"I also had people tell me I should have forgiven him and moved on rather than taking it to the police...But it wasn't about [forgiveness]...This was about criminal activity that needed to be acted on."