Beware Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault During the Holidays

Whether you are preparing for your first cruise or your 100th cruise, you should be aware of the fact that rape and sexual assault are two of the most commonly reported crimes at sea. Historically, getting accurate statistics about these crimes has be a challenge, as cruise lines could not be trusted to report all cases that took place on their ships.  The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act was enacted to ensure such incidents are properly reported and the victim receive proper medical care and support.   Despite the recent legislation, rape and sexual assaults still occur with alarming frequency and it is still important to remember to keep your safety a first priority.

As holiday season draws near, you may find yourself preparing for a cruise with family or friends. If this is the case, then there is no better time than the present to make sure you know how to protect yourself and what to do if you become the victim of either of these crimes.

Stay Vigilant

One of the best ways to ensure you avoid potential predators at sea is to remain aware of your environment at all times. While this does not mean you can’t let yourself have a good time, it does mean that you should keep an eye on any alcohol you consume, and know your limits. Unfortunately, many predators take advantage of individuals who have had a little too much to drink. So be sure to do your part and keep an eye out for other members of your group as well.

Stick to Groups or Public Spaces

Although it is true that rape and sexual assault can take place anywhere, we recommend that individuals remain primarily in groups and public spaces.   Situating yourself in this way will make it more challenging for you to be taken by surprise and will provide a buffer from anyone who may have more sinister motivations for spending time with you.     If you do separate, make you’re your loved ones know where you are and when you will be back.

Although you may get along well with the other individuals on your cruise, you should keep in mind the fact that you likely do not know much about them. As a result, be mindful of with whom and where you choose to spend your time. After all, just because you are on vacation does not mean that risks cease to exist.

Prosecuting A Case

If you do become the victim of rape and sexual assault at sea, you should immediately report the incident so authorities can be notified and medical care obtained.  You should, however, be aware that once reported, the cruise line will begin to take steps to protect itself.  This includes gathering evidence it believes will be helpful in defeating a potential lawsuit.

It is crucial that you seek help of an experienced maritime attorney to protect the victim’s interests and ensure they get the help needed.   At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have helped countless clients navigate the complexities of their cruise ship rape and sexual assault cases. This means that we fully understand what you are facing and are prepared to fight for you until you get the results that you deserve. Although no legal verdict can ever erase the memory of what has happened, it can help you to move forward with greater confidence and assurance.

So if you would like to face your legal burden head on, we are ready to take your case. Do not hesitate to contact us today, to get started.