Mon, 6 May, 2019
“Threatened and intimidated”: Erin Molan reveals traumatic toll of horrendous online abuse
Channel Nine presenter and radio host Erin Molan has opened up about the traumatic toll of the extreme abuse that she has received online.
She was left feeling “threatened and intimidated” and scared for the safety of herself and her baby daughter, Eliza. This was due to online messages telling her that he hoped they would “die”.
The messages were sent for months on end, containing abusive and threatening messages, before Molan reported the incident to the police.
The man was convicted, fined and given an eight-month suspended sentence.
Molan shared her thoughts about the incident with 9Honey, revealing that she was “embarrassed” by the incident.
"I didn’t talk about it for a fair while, because there was just so much else going on," she said.
"I was embarrassed to talk about it, which is a weird emotion to have, but I just didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself given that there was so much around so many other things."
The messages are quite graphic, with multiple swear words.
"I felt embarrassed that I was afraid by it. It scared and intimidated me," Molan explained.
"I pride myself on being fairly tough and resilient, because I’ve had to be after almost 10 years in a very male dominated industry, in a field that attracts a lot of attention – both positive and negative."
After initially thinking that this is “just unfortunately part of the parcel” when it comes to working in the public eye, it was only until the messages got more intense that Molan realised it wasn’t normal behaviour.
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"I guess initially I thought this [the online abuse] is something I’ll just have to put up with," she explains. "I didn’t want to be weak.
"It had become so normal for me to receive horrible messages that it didn’t seem like a big deal until it started to get really intense.
"When it becomes threatening and intimidating and affects how I feel and live my life then I think I should be able to take action and ensure I feel safe. Because I have that right the same as anyone else."
Molan has hopes that by sharing her story, it will make those who bully and troll online think twice about leaving abusive comments to someone on social media.
"The motivation behind this is indeed to get people to think twice about writing something to someone," she said.
"Social media is always going to have a negative nasty element to it, but I guess if people think twice about crossing a line and really being vile abusive, threatening and intimidating, then it’s a good thing.
"There's so many wonderful things about it, but there's also an incredibly dark side."