This week’s Choose to Be Podcast features an insightful conversation with Hope Ray, a licensed counselor and pioneer in the field of betrayal trauma recovery. The episode focused on Hope’s groundbreaking work defining a new concept called “betrayal violence.”
Defining Betrayal Violence
Hope Ray is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), and a Certified Hope and Freedom Practitioner (CHFP) who defines betrayal violence as a pattern of conduct involving three parts:
- Maintaining an intimate relationship while secretly and repeatedly violating fidelity
- Using abusive and manipulative behavior to avoid consequences and restraint the partner from knowing essential information
- Preventing the partner from accurately assessing their reality and making informed decisions about the relationship
This conduct leads to trauma and deprivation of rights for the betrayed partner. (Watch the full episode on YouTube!)
How Betrayal Violence Differs from Betrayal Trauma
While the concept of betrayal trauma recognizes the damage caused when a trusted person betrays us, betrayal violence focuses more specifically on the abusive dynamics used to control the partner’s reality. Hope Ray builds on existing research on betrayal trauma, domestic violence, and complex trauma to give even more clarity to the experience of partners who have been betrayed.
Validating the Lived Experience of Betrayed Partners
A key contribution of Ray’s work is providing language and validation for betrayed partners’ lived experiences. Defining the manipulative conduct they endured allows them to better understand their trauma and make informed decisions. It also helps betraying partners grasp the impact of their actions, taking responsibility beyond just sexual addiction recovery.
Ongoing Research in This Field
Betrayal violence is an emerging concept that requires more research. But Hope Ray’s pioneering work represents an important step toward better understanding and treating the trauma caused by intimate betrayal. Her insights shed light on unhealthy relationship dynamics and provide a path to healing.
- Betrayal violence involves manipulative conduct to control a partner’s reality
- It differs from betrayal trauma by specifying abusive relationship dynamics
- This research validates betrayed partners’ lived experiences
- It also helps betraying partners understand their actions’ impact
- More work is needed, but this represents progress in the field
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