Cruise ship rape crime isn’t a topic that is frequently discussed by cruise lines, but it happens more often than anyone can imagine. Sadly, sexual assault is the number 1 crime on cruise ships. In the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy, it’s important that victims and loved ones know that they have rights and options. Here are 4 crucial steps to take if you or someone you love was the victim of a cruise ship rape crime or sexual assault on the high seas or in a foreign port.
Step 1: Report the Cruise Ship Rape Crime Immediately
If you or someone you know was the victim of cruise ship rape or sexual assault, report the incident as soon as possible to cruise authorities. In addition, you should also report the cruise ship rape crime to the FBI and Coast Guard, who will also begin their own investigation, especially because cruise lines may take too long to look into the allegations or may disregard the matter altogether. The sooner you report the crime and evidence is collected, the less likely it will be tampered with. By coming forward quickly, you also lower the chances that the assailant will get away.
Step 2: Leave Evidence Intact
Though it is natural to want to change clothing and clean up following a sexual assault, it is important to leave the crime scene undisturbed so authorities can gather as much evidence as they can. Do not take a shower right away or move anything at the crime scene. In addition, jot down as many notes as you can describing the assault and the perpetrator to help with the investigation process and take pictures of the crime scene if possible.
Step 3: Seek Medical Attention
It is critical that cruise ship rape victims obtain medical attention after the attack. Most cruise ships have an onboard medical facility, where a health assessment can be performed and samples taken that may later be used to bring the perpetrator to justice. If the crime happened in port or aboard a docked ship that does not feature an onboard medical center, seek help at a local hospital.
Step 4: Contact a Cruise Ship Rape Lawyer
After the sexual crime is reported, documented, and you obtain medical treatment, consult with a cruise ship rape lawyer to discuss your rights. An experienced attorney will review all the evidence surrounding the incident and will help you understand your options. If you do have a viable claim, your lawyer will start building a case on your behalf immediately to ensure that no time is wasted.