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Mar 21, 2023

Christine DiBlasio is one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year, a recognition of women who have made a significant impact in their communities and across the country. The program launched in 2022 as a continuation of Women of the Century, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Meet this year’s honorees at womenoftheyear.usatoday.com.

For sexual assault survivors, trauma can manifest in the body as well as the mind. Clinical psychologist Christine DiBlasio had been treating trauma recovery patients for nearly 30 years with traditional talk therapy when it occurred to her she may be able to promote more healing through movement.

A fifth-degree black belt, DiBlasio merged her clinical background with her martial arts and self-defense training to create a program for sexual assault survivors that uses talk therapy to understand trauma and triggers, as well as movement and self-defense each session.

Participants say the results have been transformational. The therapeutic sexual violence recovery program is the only one of its kind. People have inquired about what DiBlasio and her colleagues are doing in South Burlington, Vermont from as far away as Australia.

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