As a maritime law firm, we are well acquainted with the myriad of accidents and injuries that can take place aboard a cruise ship. Despite the fact that most people assume cruises are the pinnacle of luxury and relaxation, it is important to remember that accident and injury can and do still occur. At the top of that list, as one of the most frequently reported cruise ship crimes, are rape and sexual assault. Unfortunately, these kinds of crimes occur on ships of all sizes, to passengers and crewmembers alike.
Although individuals can take precautions to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a sexual assault or rape aboard their cruise ship, there is always a chance that such an incident can occur. Similar to situations on land, sexual assault and rape at sea are typically not random. Whether the individuals involved are traveling companions or new acquaintances, the chance of this crime occurring between two complete strangers is low by comparison.
A recent story out of Australia reminds us of the fact that cruise ship sexual assault and rape are still crimes in dire need of reducing.
This week, a 33-year-old man traveling on the P&O Pacific Aria was arrested and charged with raping his traveling companion during a 3-night, round-trip journey from Brisbane. According to reports, the man appeared in court on Tuesday, only to have his matter adjourned. He will reappear in court on May 29th.
The cruise line explained that, after the woman reported the attack, the Queensland Police were called in to investigate. All parties involved fully participated in the investigation, and trained care professionals assisted the victim. Currently, there is no further information on this case. However, we will keep watch as developments unfold later this month.
Sexual Assault & Rape Are Not Going Away
In the wake of this report, we are left wondering how the cruise industry might begin to reduce the number of violent crimes such as these aboard their ships? While a company cannot necessarily be held responsible for the behavior of every passenger on board, there are certainly measures that cruises could take on a broader level, to help prevent sexual assault and rape from taking place on their vessels.
While it sounds as though the victim in this matter was travelling with the assailant in our experience that is usually not the case. In fact, we have repeatedly stated that cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults can be best reduced by cruise line action by: (1) warning passengers of the prevalence of sexual assaults and rapes on cruise ships; (2) educating passengers about monitoring their children during the cruise; (3) advising passengers about monitoring their drinks so that they are not drugged; and (4) providing adequate security, both in training and numbers, aboard the cruise. The frequency of sex assaults on ships only seems to be growing – causing us to ask: how many more of these crimes must take place before the cruise lines decide to proactively address the problem?
Ultimately, although no one can ever undo the harm that you have experienced, a cruise ship rape lawyer can make the legal battle much more manageable. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have handled countless sexual assault and rape cases, and are prepared to and help ease the burden on your shoulders.
Our team understands what you are facing, and we want you to rest assured that we are here to help. So if you are seeking unparalleled legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us.