Molly’s Story

Molly Snook is a gym goer, a certified personal trainer and EMT, and a survivor of sexual abuse.

When Molly Snook first disclosed her assault, she received a mixed bag of reactions and some people didn’t support her. She told her clinician at the time and described how that experience was like for her.

“It was a really good experience for me and as time went on. I came out again with my story because I started realizing how I was groomed and sexually abused. At the time of the abuse, I thought that it was normal or that I caused it. But a few months ago I wrote to my friends and they received what I wrote really well because I got more in detail about all of the things I experienced, which was not just a violent attack. There were many other incidents and abuses before that as well. My therapist helped me be able to speak on it.”

Molly shares her message to survivors who are considering whether or not to come forward.

“I would say to come forward. The thing I value the most was protecting other people and my abuser would say things about younger girls while also showing interest in them. And so for me, I had to report it. In order for me to move on with my life, I had to come forward for my safety from him. If you want to get on with your life and stay safe, while keeping other people safe, reporting is really good.”

Molly reflected on the misconceptions surrounding sexual abuse.

“Just because someone is not in jail does not mean they aren’t an abuser or innocent…but that is not true. There’s a lack of discussion around the difficulties surrounding trials. You might not get justice, but when someone is on record that makes a difference too.”

In her healing journey, Molly has found a lot of spaces for recovery in the body and in her life.

“Regaining a sense of safety was really important. Getting a restraining order and a therapist was also really helpful. Being healthy again and working out helped because when I was going through my abuse, I had an eating disorder and I lost my job because I was scared to go to work. When I was being abused, I just started college and I wasn’t doing well with anything but when I got back up, I got my personal training and EMT certification and I started working in jobs within that realm.” Getting on the firefighter eligibility list was the first time she felt really strong again.

Having purpose, disclosing to others, understanding what happened to you, and getting healthy again has been a force in her healing. She shared that “it’s more about being you and yourself again outside of abuse.”

For sexual abuse survivors of survivors of grooming, Molly has a message to share.

“You need to learn what is normal and what is not, especially in a society where so many things are normalized like women being expected to have dinner ready and to have sex when their husbands want to. Consent isn’t based on threats, deception, stalking, power differentials, and intimidation regardless of how abusers try to convince us it’s love. Consent can’t exist if you have no say. A lot of people will say that’s normal but it is not. In addition, going over what’s consensual and processing that is really good to do in therapy. Having a sexual abuse therapist is essential.”

The article called “Grooming” on explained exactly what she experienced and that website was a great resource for her. Learning about grooming and non-consensual relationships and how they develop helped her come to terms with the abuse, which she discussed with a therapist.

Molly continues to add on and explained that “when the perpetrator is someone that builds you up and you think really cares about you, and isn’t always violent towards you, that can be really confusing to differentiate the abuse; that is what happened to me and you can still have eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Through therapy, you can find out who’s a safe person and who is not. Reporting can also help you get your needs met.”

Asking for help and support from the right people is what really helped Molly in her life. She shares that “I used to think everyone was scary, but that is not true.”