Rachel Carling-Jenkins, a member of Victoria’s state parliament, said she discovered the extensive collection in their family home last year.
Her husband was convicted after Dr Carling-Jenkins and her son went to police.
She said the discovery had turned her life upside down.
An Australian MP has described her anguish at discovering her husband’s collection of child pornography in a harrowing speech to state parliament.
Pale and visibly upset, Rachel Carling-Jenkins read a statement to Victorian parliament describing the psychological impact after she and her son discovered Gary Jenkins’ hidden collection of illegal photos and videos in February.
“I personally viewed deeply distressing images that have caused me immediate and ongoing anguish,” she said.
“The faces of many [little girls] are etched in my memory for eternity and I pray the police are able to identify and rescue as many of these poor helpless and vulnerable victims as soon as possible.
“I find myself now unconsciously searching the faces of little girls on the streets, distressed when a face triggers a memory of a photo or a video of a little girl that I glimpsed in his collection.
“These little girls have lost their innocence their childhood and their control over their destiny.”
Dr Carling-Jenkins said the discovery immediately ended the marriage and she reported her now estranged husband to police.
In March he was sentenced to four months in prison for one count of knowingly possessing child pornography, although Dr Carling-Jenkins told Parliament it was “an extensive collection”.
“I do not believe a sentence of a few months and inclusion on the sex offenders register was adequate,” she said.
Dr Carling-Jenkins said her husband had since refused to sign divorce papers and a property settlement, leaving her and her son in insecure accommodation.
She said he had also continued to contact their son since his conviction and she considered his behaviour as financial and psychological abuse.
Dr Carling-Jenkins was hugged by MPs on both sides of the house after speaking.
Speaking to media outside Parliament, Dr Carling-Jenkins revealed some members of the public had criticised her for not ‘standing beside her husband’.
“This is an attitude in society that, no matter what, a wife should not stand up and call her husband out,” she said.
“I have no regrets, as a mother or a wife, in reporting or exposing this dreadful crime, which occurred in the privacy of my home.”
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