Not 100% sure its child porn-- don't know if I should report


#1

I found some pornography on my husband’s computer and it looked like the girls were under 18 to me. I asked my husband about it and we ended up fighting for hours and he insisted that he only looks at legal over-age pornography. I feel really confused. If it is child pornography I definitely want to tell someone, even though he is my husband, but I don’t want to get him (and me) into trouble if he is telling the truth (I don’t think he is).


#2

Thank you for posting.

It sounds like you are in a difficult situation. If you are suspicious but not sure that your husband is accessing child pornography you are still able to call the Child Wise National Child Abuse Prevention Helpline for advice. They are available to listen to your concerns, even if you’re not certain, and explain what to look out for and what your options are.

We’ve listed this helpline in the section Professional help & support but you can also go to their site directly: http://www.childwise.net/Help-Advice/child-wise-national-child-abuse-prevention-helpline.html or call their (toll free) number 1800 99 10 99 but just be aware, when you do decide to call, that this helpline is only available during business hours.

I hope you have someone to talk to about the fight with your husband and what’s been going on. Please feel free to post, again, if you feel that someone here might be able to provide you with support or if you want to talk more about what’s going on.

Kind regards,
Natalie


#3

I am in a similar situation. I found sexual videos of my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) with prostitutes and people he had met online (I could hear the discussions). It was clear the women didn’t know they were being filmed. One of the people involved was talking about being in high school. I have also found in the past teenage porn but dismissed it. The more I think about it the more concerned I am. Do I report something I’m not 100% sure about? I’m scared about the ramifications if I report this. Has he deleted the video? what if I’m wrong? How will he react? He spoke about suicide when I found the video’s 2 months ago. Part of me still cares for him the other part is disgusted. I haven’t told anyone about the extend of the stuff I found and I only looked in one small file I have no idea what else is there.


#4

Dear metoo,

That must have been confronting and overwhelming to find those videos as well as the material you found depicting teenagers. It makes sense to me that you have become more concerned over time. At the time, many of us are so shocked and devastated by what we have discovered that we are reeling and it takes us a while to process what it is actually is and what it means for the people in the images. It is really important and courageous that you have come to this site and that you are telling someone about this now. Even though he is now your ex, it’s still an incredibly hard and brave thing to do.

This may sound like it can’t be true but I, and other people on this forum, have found it possible to be horrified by what our partner (or ex-partner) has done and to report it while also still caring for him. It’s because we care about this person that makes this discovery so difficult for us.

It sounds like there are some things are quite certain about (like hearing the person talk about being in high-school) and other aspects you are not sure of. I agree that it can be really hard to tell with teenage images and ‘barely legal’ type websites especially as we don’t want to go digging deeper and looking at everything we can find on his computer. There is no way of knowing what else is on his computer and what he has deleted but you can report what you do know and leave it up to professionals to find out the full extent of the situation. Even if he has deleted material from his computer, in most cases, files are never permanently deleted and it is possible for an experienced person to still find them (even though to us and to your ex-boyfriend it looks like it is completely gone).

You are right that you have no way of knowing the full situation but it sounds like you know enough to be genuinely concerned about young people that your ex-boyfriend has met in person and also young people who are being exploited on the internet. Any pornography that depicts a young person (teenager or child) is not ‘just pornography’ but exploitation. It is a picture of a young person being sexually abused.

I really want to say that I know that this is really, really hard. Reporting my ex-husband was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Please let me know what we can do to help you to be able to follow this through. It is really important that you do find a way of reporting as often, we, the partners are the only person that finds out what is going on. It’s not fair that it comes down to us to do something but often we are the only person who is in the position to intervene and protect these young people.

If, by chance, you happened to be wrong about this, it will be easy for police to clarify. If they do investigate, they will be absolutely sure of what your ex-boyfriend has been doing before there are any consequences for him.

There are a couple of ways of reporting anonymously (if this would be easier for you) though the only downside of this is that if more information is required then you can’t be reached, again. Police routinely take this type of report through Crimestoppers and the police have encouraged us to direct people to do this. You can call 1800 333 000 (from anywhere in Australia) And, in most states you can also make a report to Crimestoppers on-line: crimestoppers.com.au

If, for any reason, you are not comfortable contacting Crimestoppers yourself, PartnerSPEAK.org is able to do this on your behalf. We can take the information from you and pass it on. If you agreed to it, we could also take your details (not to pass on) but so that if there were any further questions PartnerSPEAK.org could come back to you and ask for any extra information that Crimestoppers might need.

Thank you for getting in touch. People who haven’t been in this situation don’t know how it is to both know this about someone we are so close to and, then, to realise that it comes down to us to do something about it. Please do let me and PartnerSPEAK.org know how we can help.

Take care,
Natalie


#5

When I was in this situation I decided to report. I took the laptops down to the police station. They were expecting me as I had phoned them earlier to discuss. It doesn’t matter what has been deleted, their computer crime department can bring up everything that’s ever been downloaded. If it’s not child exploitation material the police will let you know. If it is, it will depend on the grade or level of images as to what the consequences are. There must be clear evidence the people in the video are underage. It’s hard to tell with some teenagers in which case the police cannot press charges. I copped positive and negative criticism from others when I reported. But I could not live with myself if I didn’t do it and it developed further into him abusing one of our friends or family member’s kids. I feel it is the right and moral thing to do for society. Often people looking at this material don’t want to admit they are and get help themselves. I feel we must intervene to help them, and sometimes helping them is reporting them.