National Domestic Violence Awareness Month — October 2023

For last year’s October 2022’s National Domestic Violence Awareness, I opened my blog post with the statement that it is sad, but necessary, that one month out of the year is designated to point out the tragedy of domestic violence. I’m sure there is not one person reading this blog article who hasn’t experienced some form of abuse firsthand or knows someone who has experienced domestic violence or some other form of abuse. Is domestic violence an unpleasant topic? It sure is, but it’s not only a necessary topic, it’s a topic that can positively energize us to help those adults, children, and pets impacted by domestic violence. Indeed, domestic violence is every bit as harsh a topic as is cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, our loved ones’ suicides, devastating natural disasters, and a host of other really tough topics. But out of devastation can come great good. I will describe at the end of this blog article ways that we can directly and indirectly help those people and pets impacted by domestic violence and other forms of abuse.

Domestic violence and abusive behavior come in a variety of forms. There are individuals — mostly women but some men as well — who become involved with abusive people, or even a series of abusive people, despite all the warning signs and despite abusers demonstrating repeated incidences of violence. This is why there is a difference between those who remain victims and those who reject the abuse and become survivors. Another important difference is that there are those like myself who experience abuse and violence from a family member through no fault of our own. In my own family, one brother in particular has surpassed the abuse of my other three brothers to become an obsessed abuser par excellence. As I’ve written in my book Fighting for Justice: Religious Fraud, Mental Illness, and the Collapse of Law & Order, and as I’ve written on my websites and, all four of my brothers have shown mental instability and acted abusively in varying degrees since their very early years toward our parents (our parents were not abusive toward each other), toward each other, toward me, and toward people outside of the family. At various points in time my mother and I, and other people, tried to encourage my brothers to get mental health counseling, but none of those efforts succeeded. For the past twenty-plus years, one of my brothers, Ken Parks (aka, “Pastor Ken Parks”, “Pastor Max Parks,” “Ken Max Parks”, “Max Parks”) has engaged in continuous aggressive defamation, death threats, stalking, incitement of his cult followers to stalk and harass me, my husband, and other people, and harassment of our neighbors, friends, and employers and co-workers. For decades Ken has weaponized the courts by filing multiple meritless lawsuits against me, my husband, his first ex-wife and her husband, and against a church. He filed these lawsuits Pro Se (without an attorney), and he lost every single lawsuit. He boasted online that he knows his lawsuits are meritless and that he only filed them to cost people the money to pay attorneys to defend their innocence. He now has state and federal court judgments and permanent injunctions against him and he has been designated an abusive litigant.

A person’s experience with domestic violence and other forms of abuse brings that person down a path they never planned. It takes a very determined attitude by the person to turn the horrific abusive experience back on itself by choosing personal strength and choosing to encourage others to grow stronger from their abusive experiences. In my personal interactions, in my role as an educator, and in the conferences I attend and in which I conduct sessions on the topic of cults and the various forms of abuse common with cults, I put out this warning all the time: The Internet and specifically social media and online dating sites have become hunting grounds for frauds and manipulative abusers like my brother Ken has proved himself to be. I’ve lost count of the people I’ve spoken with recently and down through the years — men, women, and children — who have described to me in painful details abusers and stalkers they’ve encountered both online and in face-to-face interactions. Some of these abusers were total strangers, or former spouses or partners, family members, classmates, former students, church leaders or their followers, or just mere acquaintances. In Ken’s case, he seeks out “stupid” or “so-called” Christians and any and all other overly trusting people. He met his now second ex-wife through online dating. Ken sets the bait by quoting Bible verses or using some other affinity scam. He claims to be a pastor of his financially unaccountable ETC Ministries and SOC / Simplicity of Christ Ministries (he runs these “ministries” from his keyboard in his apartment). He also claims to be a “professional” photographer. He’s been known to sweeten his scams by expressing sympathy for those who are having health issues or going through a tough time. And then he goes in for the kill. His shameless, narcissistic abuse, especially against women, comes out clear as day in his public Facebook posts:
Ken Parks
  Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 2:58 AM
A proud wife will not submit and obey the husband she chose to be her leader.

Ken Parks
  Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 8:06 AM
… submit to your husband to respect marital authority…
Ken Parks
  July 2, 2023 at 4:58 AM 
Young woman, you must ignore the lies being spread today about the role of the woman…. Marriage is not a partnership, where you have an equal say in matters.

Ken Parks
  July 2 at 4:58 AM  · 
Proverbs 27:15
A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

Mothers, it is your duty to teach your daughters to be the godly, gracious, submissive, and reverent wives the Lord expects them to become (Titus 2:3-5). You can teach the traits of a gracious woman by example and instruction. Teach them to love from their hearts, cut their words in half, compliment rather than criticize, serve rather than sauce, agree rather than argue, submit rather than fight, smile rather than sneer, romance rather than withdraw, clean rather than shop, work rather than nag, praise rather than correct, thank rather than complain, kiss rather than cry, and forget rather than avenge.

Ken Parks
  June 25 at 6:24 AM  
So there are women fighter pilots … women voting … women not giving birth until an average fifteen years after puberty begins…. Thus saith the LORD! The woman was made for the Godly man, and she is to be an obedient and submissive wife, with her primary duties at home…
Silly women are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:6-7). Instead of asking their husbands at home (1 Cor. 14:34-35), they want to teach their husbands at home. They want greater roles in the church businesses. They want a voice. They want to preach. They run from seminar to seminar to apply their weaker abilities to subjects they will never master, that have little to no value for spiritual progress, and that undermine established truth and practice.

Ken Parks
  January 21, 2023 at 1:37 AM
Women are to obey and reverence their husbands, and they are not allowed to speak to men while members of His Ekklesia are in conversation.

Ken Parks
  Thursday, January 12, 2023
The hallucinations of educated men have created many absurdities … [that] men and women are equal….

These posts provide a window into Ken’s sick justification of the violence and abuse to which he has subjected his two ex-wives, his daughter, his sister, his mother, and other women. Police records exist of Ken’s violence against his two ex-wives, as well as his neglect of his children. I have police records of Ken’s harassment and threats against me, and Ken’s threats to our physical safety were to the extent that victim advocates in Connecticut advised us to move from our home to another state with better protective laws in case Ken found out our new location (he did). In addition to Ken’s denigration of women, he has the self-righteous audacity to publish his “instructions” on parenting in his public posts. The scar on his oldest son’s hip which he received as a child from the buckle end of the belt my brother Ken used to beat him speaks volumes about Ken’s “parenting style.” I firsthand witnessed Ken’s physical abuse, verbal abuse, and emotional abuse against his children, and Ken fled the state of Connecticut during a child abuse investigation. There’s a 2018 police report in which his neighbors in Georgia complained of Ken’s persistent stalking of their children with his drones and his cameras, and they cited their worries about Ken owning guns. And then, of course, there are legitimate concerns about the nine email accounts seemingly registered in Ken’s name that have variations of “kidsx” in the account names. I’ve posted public record police reports, court records, and other documentation on my website, as attorneys advised me to do. For discretion sake, I have chosen not to post other publicly accessible police reports from 2021 and 2022 which describe Ken threatening to use his guns to shoot his now second ex-wife. Ken’s daughter told me years ago that he “beat up” one of his previous girlfriends. I know firsthand the violence and abuse Ken has done against me dating back decades ago to my early years.

Ken doesn’t limit his abuse to women and children but also uses his Scripture twisting to spiritually abuse religious people, as can be seen in his fraudulent claims of being a pastor:

Ken Parks
  Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 8:06 AM  
… obey your pastor to respect religious authority.

Ken Parks
  June 25 at 6:24 AM  
…deacon boards judging pastors…. What insanity!

No one in their right mind would ever want to be anywhere near a supposed pastor who has shown himself to be so overtly narcissistic, power-lusting, Scripture-twisting, systematically cruel and dangerous, and determinedly unaccountable as Ken is. Ken’s own public statements and actions are classic cult leader traits and the traits of a serial abuser. Here is a very pertinent article about how often abusers use religion to target children specifically: How Faith Affects Child Sexual Abuse.

Ken’s pathological lack of empathy extends to his high school classmates as well, as his January 2022 public post demonstrates:

Ken Parks
  January 11 at 7:02 AM  ·  (2022)
There are some people in my High School class of 73 that are going through some problems, physical, mental, and spiritual. And for the most part, their suffering can’t be seen as a result of disobedience and acting against God. They hoot, holler, and complain of their plight, seeking the sympathy of others… and yet remain in practicing the love and ways of this world, even to the point of calling the Word of God a myth, a fallacy, or a fictional book.
The worst part of the entire matter is that their final destiny will be the result of their so-called “good works” pertaining to the things of this world and NOT for the glory of God. And there will not be any laughter, but rather the opposite… the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What kind of person publicly posts these horrible, hateful statements about anyone? The hypocritical irony is that for decades Ken has done quite a bit of his own “hooting, hollering, and complaining” in his public posts about his diabetes and his other health problems, and I can remember in my youth Ken being a bit of a hypochondriac — yet another classic trait of a narcissist. As his words and the image he chose for this public post demonstrate, it’s as if Ken relishes the idea of people burning in hell, especially if it’s for disagreeing with him. In short, Ken is an equal opportunity abuser.

Why do I continue to write about Ken’s violence, his religious con jobs, and his self-righteous lies about himself and against innocent people? Why do I continue to conduct conference sessions, podcast and news interviews, and make myself available to discuss with others who reach out to me asking about how to cope with ongoing forms of abuse especially when all efforts are made to keep distance from the abuser? For the simple conscientious reason that as long as Ken and others like him pose a danger to the general public then we must all speak up and not let these abusers silence us. As long as Ken remains a threat to others by defaming and stalking people, threatening to file or actually filing meritless lawsuits against innocent people, inciting his cult goons to harass his victims, and falsely promoting himself to dupe people into trusting him so he can carry out his destructive, even dangerous, scams then the truthful, well-documented warnings about him must continue to go out. The grievous, tragic fact of the matter is that my brother Ken is a menace or potential menace to anyone and everyone he encounters.

If October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month makes anything clear it is this point: There is no justification or excuse that can be used to tolerate any act of domestic violence or any form of abuse. Abusers who use social media to hit at their victims must not be tolerated. They must be blocked and reported to social media administrators. The attitude of “I’m not going to get involved in their squabble” or “Well, they’ve always been nice to me” enables and empowers abusers, negates the brutal reality of abuse, and makes oneself a passive participant in violence and abuse. Online abusers — especially predatory abusers — must be outed with the truth, and we do have a responsibility and a duty to ourselves and to others to use the truth to put out the warning about these abusers. Since I have published my websites, my book, my blog, and my online posts, Ken’s obsessive defamatory public posts accusing me and my husband of being child abusers, domestic terrorists, convicted criminals, wanted fugitives, and publishing an assortment of other horrific lies, have significantly decreased. We know for a fact that after we published my websites, whenever Ken publicly posted some of his typical ad hominem attacks against us my website stats showed that the number of views shot up. Every now and again those viewer stats go up unexplainably and we can’t help but wonder if Ken may be posting something about us privately. We also know that down through the years other people unknown to us, who were presumably also targeted for abuse by Ken, have referred to the factual documentation in my websites to confront Ken and warn other people about him. We’re grateful for them for doing this, whoever they are. Speaking up against Ken’s violence, abuse, and fraud has for the most part shut him up and shut him down from succeeding in his defamation and scam campaigns. Speaking up with publicly accessible documentation is what attorneys advised us to do, especially because Ken’s advertisements of himself as a “pastor” and “professional photographer” have made him a limited-purpose public figure seeking public trust, which therefore opens him up to public scrutiny. I routinely pass along the same advice attorneys gave to us to other victims/survivors of abusive cult leaders and other abusers who are determined to publicly defame and terrorize their victims. Speak verifiable truth and don’t back down.

Taking actions to support victims of online abuse or any other form of abuse and domestic violence is a positive force in which all of us can participate. Domestic violence shelters in your local area are always in need of basic necessities, like non-perishable food, personal care items, clothing, and transportation. If you’re an employer, consider hiring a domestic violence survivor. Since many shelters cannot take in pets, abuse victims are in need of foster homes for their pets, who are likewise subject to violence. Victims who take the risky step of breaking free from their abusers need to have the peace of mind that they can get their pets out of that abusive environment as well. A director of one of our regional domestic violence shelters told the civic group I’m involved with that many times victims won’t leave their abuser because they have nowhere to take their pets and they are reasonably concerned for their pets’ safety. Abusers often threaten to harm or kill victims’ pets if victims leave. So consider opening your home to foster the pets endangered by domestic violence. Also, if your time schedule permits, consider volunteering at a domestic violence shelter, or becoming a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children. Consider fostering abused children. Houses of worship and civic groups can organize donation events for domestic violence shelters and for private and state run homes for children who’ve come out of abusive situations. In my area, the courts and hospitals work in close association with domestic violence shelters. One shelter in particular has trained nurses to give immediate medical aid to victims raped or assaulted by their abusers who would otherwise be forced to sit for hours in a public waiting area in a hospital ER. Advocate with your legislators for tougher laws against domestic violence and other forms of abuse.

Much needs to be done to put a stop to domestic violence and all forms of abuse. It starts with each and every one of us. Please consider the many ways you can offer direct or indirect assistance to those who have taken brave steps to break free from and speak out against domestic violence and abuse in all its forms.

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© Copyright 2021 Paulette J. Buchanan