Nine sports presenter Erin Molan has shared the terrifying moment she believed an online troll was breaking into her home to attack her unborn daughter after days of brutal online abuse on social media.

She broke down in tears recalling the event with 60 Minutes after detailing the abusive messages she was sent in the days before that moment.

She started the interview admitting she has put up with online abuse for years from rugby league sites.

“Every single one was either that I was a woman, that I was ugly, that I looked like a s**t, that I’d never played the game, that I belong in the kitchen,” she said.

“About different footballers that I’ve had dalliances with, about bosses at Channel 9 that I must have slept with. It’s just vile.”

She also said that she wasn't a “snowflake”.

“I am absolutely not a snowflake,” she said.

“The other tens of thousands of Australians who are abused online are not snowflakes. I’m so sick of this victim, shaming bulls**t.

“There is a s**tload of stuff that I will accept. There are certain things I won’t accept, that doesn’t make me a snowflake.”

One certain thing she wouldn't accept was a message sent while she was pregnant with her daughter.


She said the horrific message “really hurt” and took her to some “pretty dark places”, particularly given what had happened to her sister.

“I have an older sister who had a stillbirth, carried a beautiful little girl to full term, Emily,” she said

“And to watch her bury her child and stand up with a little coffin and say, mummy loves you and she’s so sorry.

“To sit there and watch my sister go through that, meant that my pregnancy was fairly anxious throughout. So to start to receive messages of that nature, really impacted me.”

Things only got worse as she lied in bed in her home before hearing a window smash.

“We were lying in bed and we’re asleep, it was like one or 2 am it sounded like someone had, like a window had smashed or someone,” she said. “It was just a massive, big smash.

“And I thought that he’d come in, and he was going to try and do what he was saying he was going to do to my baby.”

“That was kind of the moment where I thought I can’t do this any more,” she said. 

“So I went to the police and look, they were amazing, but it’s not easy for the police to prosecute and to take action, because initially there weren’t enough messages, then more and more kept coming.”

60 Minutes reported that the man behind the campaign was a father of young girls himself and he was eventually charged by police. He only received a suspended sentence for his behaviour.

Molan also claimed that Facebook wasn't helpful with stopping the abusive messages.

“I’ve reported these messages to Facebook, their response was that they were not considered offensive,” she said. “They are not doing their best, not even close.”

After her experience, Molan wants harsher penalties for online trolls.

“This is not about celebrities. This is not about politicians. This is about every single Australian, because this impacts every single Australian,” she said. “The time to ignore trolls is over. The time to prosecute trolls is here.”

“You need to change the entire conversation, the entire narrative and say, ‘Hey Johnny, if you’re going to troll, do you care about going to jail for three years?’,” she said.

“‘Do you care about being on the front page of the paper and your wife and your boss seeing? Do you care about you being held to account and never getting another job?

“‘Do you care about your kids seeing this in five years time that their dad was an a**hole and bullied someone to the point where they nearly took their own lives? Do you care about that, Johnny?’”

“Yes, you do. Because then Johnny sees real consequences for his actions. Then Johnny thinks twice about sending something. Then Johnny stops.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.