Please help

I was released from a PA State Correctional Facility in July 2020, after spending 10 years (of a 6-18 year sentence) locked up. I’m classified as an SVP with lifetime registration.

Banned from the county that I lived in my entire life, and where my support group is located, I am living one county west,

Shortly after my release, I approached an LGBT organization that I was interested in being active in. I was completely up front about my past to the President of this organization. She told me that she would not be comfortable with me volunteering due to my past and a lot of their programs are geared around LGBT youth. I understood her position and went on my way. I still participated in LGBT events that did not involve youth, but always felt uncomfortable around her.

There is another LGBT group in our area, that was willing to allow me to volunteer, as long as I kept within my parole stipulations. Only a few of the board members were aware of my past. I’ve been helping them out with various functions for the past year.

I recently found an ideal job, working with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). I was straight forward with the staff, and they have accepted me for the person I am today. Unfortunately, the offices that I am to work at happen to be in the same building as the first LGBT organization that would not let me volunteer. When the lady for the LGBT organization found out I was in the same building as her, she contacted the landlord to complain. I am now “banned” from going to the office and need to work from home.

A week later, this same lady, went to the board of the LGBT organization that has allowed me to volunteer for them, and told them of my past. While some of them did know about my past, the others did not have an issue with me (I guess, since they have gotten to know me and my work ethic) but they are afraid that she will go to some of our bigger sponsors to “scare” them away from the organization. So, I’ve been told that I need to step back from volunteering.

I’ve also found out that this lady is going to other organizations that I have nothing to do with, and telling them about my past.

Since I’ve been released two years ago, my depression has been out of control, and these past few weeks have been horrendous. I honestly don’t know why she feels it is her right to spread the word about me and my past, but I’m finding it so difficult to the depression and the self harmful thoughts that often creep in.

What rights (if any) do I have to protect myself from this lady spreading my story around and preventing me from working and volunteering?

Thank you so much for any advice.


5 thoughts on “Please help

  1. Hi, Wanted to drop a quick note that what she is doing is engaging in target harassment. The only people tasked by law with the distribution of notifications is law enforcement specifically for community notification purposes.
    I would strongly encourage you to send this person a carefully worded letter outlining that A, you are asking that she stop her activities. B, she should be aware that is a civil violation to do so (It is against the law in PA to engage in target harassment of those on the registry. C, leave the letter open ended with your request to stop. Do not threaten her, do not offer any legal advice.
    Make sure you keep a copy of that letter.
    In PA you have a right to a reputation. This is constitutional. She simply cant continue her behavior.
    If you have to, inform the state police megans law section by phone (found on your paperwork) or when you go in next time to register that you are being harassed. Inform them that her actions are making it more likely someone could be encouraged to come to your home and that you have not done anything to push her into this.
    One last thing though. Make sure you are registering all volunteer activity that is not a one off sort of event. If its in any way routine register it.
    Keep the faith and remember, there are far more who have your back then those that dont. You can trust that.

  2. I am a highly educated female (40) who slept with a 16-year-old 7 years ago while in a manic state. Totally my fault, 100%, but as I, a strict pacifist, am now labeled the worst violent criminal imaginable (statutory rape) and have been jobless for 7 years. Always some excuse unrelated, but obviously related, to the crime I did and that I don’t even remember doing.
    To my town of 60,000 here in Missouri, I am a monster who would serve this world better if I killed myself. I was randomly told to kill myself today and called a “fat, ugly, cho-mo” and pushed out of the way at CVS.
    I envy those of you who have found acceptance and are able to forgive yourselves. I love that you have found jobs and happiness.
    But that’s not going to happen here, and it will never happen here. If I didn’t have my kid, then I would be dead already. I am always on the lookout for ways to die that look natural so that I don’t hurt them by “choosing” to leave. But their life would be so much better without me. I am scared, alone, and one breath away from homelessness.
    Maybe all those people are right and I should just die. I think that relieving such a huge, fat, cho-mo burden on my family will be, on my part, a gift to them, though I doubt they would understand.
    I don’t want to be here any more thanks to the registry and the media. I thought that I could hang on, but I can’t.
    They have told me what I deserve and I will probably listen. I don’t want to be here anymore. Bless those of you who can hack it and I wish you all the best in the world. Thanks for letting me rant.

    1. Sounds like you have BPD? Me too. So there’s times in my life where I’m really “up.” And times when i’m really, really down. For me, the trick is to ride out the extremes until I feel better. And to take care of myself – meds, regular doctor appointments, eating healthy, trying to get enough sleep.

      Sometimes maybe people think I’m naive, always trying to stay positive. Naive or not, I expect to be treated like the good person I am. Maybe being an optimist is a survival skill? When I first got my BPD diagnosis I was very suicidal. If I feel that way now it’s usually because I’m stressed or hurt. If I’m feeling suicidal, it’s because I want the pain to go away. Not because I really want to die.

      Yeah, this life is unfair. But dwelling on life’s unfairness is to be perpetually angry and disappointed. Highly educated or not, there are jobs out there. Lucky you – at least you have an education! I’m just an uneducated musician stuck in a factory job. Me -a violinist having to do hard manual labor because I can’t/won’t teach music anymore. Unfair! Sometimes we have to make compromises to suit our situation. People respect people who try to do their best. Positivity is more attractive than negativity. It takes some work, but nobody ever said this was going to be easy.

      I hope you can ride out your depression and

    2. Most states’ age of consent is 16. I think there’s only 2 or 3 states that it is 18. You should move to one of those states that it’s 16 and they cannot place you on the registry since they do not have a crime in their state that’s comparable to your crime. That’s assuming that the age you supplied in this story is accurate.

  3. Hey Vito,

    I live in a small town and had lots of support from the community. Except for one guy. Pretty sure he vandalized my business a few times. One day, I actually saw him putting up a “notice” about me at the local post office.

    Like I said, it’s a small town and I knew where he lived and what his habits were. One day, I managed to catch him in his driveway. Calmly, I told him I knew what he was doing and asked him to please stop. We actually had a conversation. Instead of being afraid or angry at him, I explained my crime and why it wouldn’t happen again. Often, what is reported in the news, or listed online, isn’t really an accurate description of what happened. I haven’t had any issues since.

    Don’t let this one person bring you down. You have people who DO like you and believe in you or you wouldn’t have been employed in the first place.

    Some people just won’t change their minds. But maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try to talk to this woman?

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