The opportunity to embark on a cruise vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. After choosing the destination and pondering the different excursions, most guests are ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy their days of endless sunshine and exciting ports of call.
Cruises are often idealized as the best way to see the world. There’s far less travel stress, far more options, and far fewer inconveniences than if you were going to see the same places on your own. So it makes sense that this method of transportation is one of the most beloved, everywhere around the world.
However, it is important to remember that, although a cruise may seem like paradise, it is just an extension of life on land. And, as a result, the same risks that apply when you step outside your door still apply when you step on board a cruise.
Rape: A Common Cruise Threat
One of the major risks aboard cruise ships is rape and sexual assault. With many people in close quarters and ship having multiple secluded areas, cruise ship rape happens far more often than anyone knows and it is not always the case that the rapist is a stranger. It can be your cruising companion, another passenger, a crewmember or even someone in one of your ports of call. As a maritime law firm with over 100 years of combined experience, we have, unfortunately, handled countless cases of rape and sexual assault aboard a variety of different cruise vessels and of all the types mentioned above.
A recent story out of Spain reminds us that this risk is an ever present one, just like on land.
On October 20th, 2016, the Daily Mail reported that a Disney Cruise Line employee was arrested for allegedly raping his co-worker while they were both working on the Disney Wonder. The boat was docked in the Spanish port of Cadiz, and the crew was staying aboard a smaller ship called Rhapsody, while the Wonder was undergoing refurbishment.
According to reports, the pair had been dating and had consensual sex the night before. However, the next morning, the woman involved says her boyfriend forced her to engage in an extreme sex act that she had said ‘no’ to.
Currently the man in question, a 28-year-old from St. Lucia, is being held on suspicion of aggravated assault in a Spanish jail.
As it turns out, the Disney Wonder is the same cruise ship from which 24-year-old employee Rebecca Coriam disappeared five years ago. Her body was never found, but some suspect she may have suffered sexual assault before being murdered.
Don’t Suffer In Silence
Suffice it to say, one can never be too aware of their surroundings. Whether you are a cruise passenger or employee, it is always a good idea to make smart choices when it comes to spending your time, alone, with other people aboard the ship. And, should an attack happen, as it did to the woman in this most recent case, do not feel embarrassed or ashamed to report what has transpired.
In fact, reporting an incident of cruise ship rape only stands to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. We are grateful to know that this woman was not afraid to report the incident, and our support goes out to her during this emotionally difficult time.
LMAW Is Here For You
So, if you have suffered a sexual assault or rape aboard a cruise ship, know that we are here to help. A cruise ship rape lawyer can help you navigate your case, so you can get back to living your life. Feel free to contact us today to set up an initial consultation.