One More Suicide Is One Too Many

The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.

Fear of life on the registry may be responsible for another life cut short.

On Tuesday, 1/30/2018 the news reported that former “Glee” TV show” actor, Mark Salling died of an apparent suicide.

Mark had been found guilty of possession of child pornography in October 2017. After a plea deal in December, he was due to be sentenced on March 7, 2018. Mark was looking at a 4 to 7 year prison sentence and then a life on the registry.

He was just 35 yrs old.

A young man is dead.

Mark could have been any one of our sons, brothers, nephews, husbands or fathers.

The amount of images on his computer, the bargain struck during plea deal, the thousands of dollars paid in restitution, none of that matters now.

A young man is dead.

He leaves behind a grieving family.

Some would say he died by his own hands, it is after all a suicide.

But all of us living in this “registry hell”, we all know better.

We know that the fear of a life on the registry is a powerful demon. Fear of a future of physical banishment and moral leprosy from society. Fear of being seen for the rest of your life as some kind of sex fiend, some kind of monster or pervert, something you are not and never have been.

Fear of the registry can wrap itself around you like a boa constrictor and squeeze the life out of you.

We all know the devastation this young man who was used to being in the spotlight for a very different reason must have felt. We all know that the “waiting time” in between being charged with an offense and waiting for sentencing gives ample time for fearful thoughts to run amok and sometimes those fearful thoughts back you into a corner. You see no way out.

This young man’s “fall from grace” did not end with a soft landing.

A young man is dead.

Salling would have had to register as a sex offender and enter a treatment program. He would be denied verbal or electronic contact with anyone under the age of 18 according to the news.  He would have had to maintain a 100 ft. buffer from schools, parks, public swimming pools, youth centers, playgrounds and arcades. And, we, know those are only some of the highlights of “registry hell”.

Life as he had known it as a Hollywood star would be “forever” changed.

A young man is dead.

Mark attempted suicide last August according to news reports, just before agreeing to a plea deal. By then of course, it may have already been too late, fear had already taken hold.

Fear of what prison holds for sex offenders when an offense against children is involved.

Fear of alienation “if” and “when” you make it out of prison, alienation from any semblance of a “normal” life. Alienation from friends, family, everything you’ve known in your life.

We don’t know all the fears that must have gone through this young man’s mind, but we all have a pretty good idea. We’ve all been there.

A young man is dead.

He never made it to prison.

A young man is dead.

Is it safe to say that the registry and the fears associated with being labeled a registrant are partly to blame for this young man’s death?

When is one more suicide, one too many?

A young man is dead.

 

 

 

 

The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.

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