WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Lindsey went through moments a parent never wants to experience, when someone sexually assaulted her young son.

“My initial reaction was just shock. I didn’t really know where or to go, who to contact,” said Lindsey.

Investigators referred her son to The Advocacy Center where he relived his pain with strangers who are now his biggest supporters.

“I swore he was just going to leave here traumatized, but he didn’t.” said Lindsey. “He walked out with a smile, and a little stuffed clown fish that he still holds at night.”

Funds raised during the Mardi Gras Ball go towards helping more victims and their families.

“We are the elephant in the room. People don’t want to talk about us, don’t want [to] acknowledge what’s happening, and we are there to service our victims of crime,” said Alison Sorley, Development Specialist for The Advocacy Center. “They walk in a victim, they walk out of survivor. Everything is taken care of. “

Seeing cases increase from victims coming out of quarantine and children heading back to school, the center also covers exam costs and operates a 24/7 hotline for help.

“Sometimes they have regressions and they need to come back for counseling years after something happened,” said Sorley. “Or you could have a trigger of something that happened maybe in your childhood, and you remembered it as an adult.”

This year’s ball will be held at the Extraco Event Center.

You can reserve a ticket until next Friday by clicking here or by calling this number 254-752-9330.