Sexual assault survivor turns her healing into hope for others - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Sexual assault survivor turns her healing into hope for others

Sexual assault survivor turns her healing into hope for others

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TYLER (KYTX) - A local sexual assault survivor has written a play about her experience, to help open lines of communication during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  

It was a party in college that changed Tanna Barret-Page's life forever.

"There was a really cute guy. He seemed innocent and he offered me a soda and in the soda there was probably a roofie or something along those lines," she says.
Next thing she knew, she says was being raped by two men.  
"Some of the words I remember are 'You have to do this to get in.' So it was some initiation of some sort," she recalls.
She kept the rape a secret even though the burden was unimaginable.
"A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant, and from there, I hid the pregnancy, hid the assault, because I just didn't know what to do. I was young, naive, scared, ashamed. I miscarried the baby 12 weeks later."

It was 10 years before she found the East Texas Crisis Center, where she says her deep emotional wounds finally healed.  As a way to deal with what happened, a counselor suggested re-framing her story, using it in a positive way, and seeing it from a different perspective.  What she came up with, was a play script.  

"Being able to write this was allowing myself to forgive. My plan was it was never going to be seen," she says with a chuckle.
Soon after she wrote the play, her crisis center counselor convinced her to take a leap of faith, and turn it into a public performance, to be shown in April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  
"I was assaulted in April," Barrett-Page says, "which I look back now and see it was definitely God's hand in using something that was so shattering to be used for good."

About 15 volunteers from all over East Texas are helping with the play. She hopes the show will send a message to others hiding behind the shame of sexual assault.  

"That you're not alone," she says. "It's time to shatter the silence. It's time to have a voice for the voiceless." 
Her prayer is that her community will hear those voices, and extend much needed support.  

Bennett-page's first show is Thursday, April 24 at the Tyler Civic Theater.  Doors will open at 6:30.  Tickets and an array of desserts is free.  
There will also be two performances at Crossroads Community Church in Tyler off of Highway 155.  Those will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m, and Sunday at 2 p.m.  

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