When you set out on a cruise vacation, the last thing you likely want is to fall victim to rape or sexual assault. After all, a cruise is meant to be a fun and relaxing environment–a way to escape the chaos of everyday life. However, for many people, these ships quickly go from enjoyable vacation spot to a complete nightmare.
The sad reality is that cruise ship rape and sexual assault are the two most commonly reported crimes at sea. This is troubling, especially considering the fact that we know there are many of these kinds of cases that still go unreported. So, in truth, the numbers are likely much higher. Although standard reporting procedures have improved over the years, there is still much room for improvement.
As a passenger or crewmember, you likely have very little control over who else is on your cruise. While cruise lines do background checks for their employees, records for international employees are much more challenging to come by. This means that there is the potential for your cruise to hire a dangerous individual, purely due to a lack of access to important information.
Safety Measures for Adults and Kids
So what does all of this mean? While you certainly should not feel as though you must cancel your upcoming cruise, you should plan on remaining vigilant and proactive during your time away.
If you are traveling with a group of fellow adults, ensure to have a buddy system in place so that each person is with a trusted traveling companion and no one is left on their own. Always let friends and family know where you will be and check in regularly. When drinking, be mindful of your consumption and that of your friends, and ensure everyone gets back to their cabin safely. No matter how competent you believe your friends to be, these precautions can make a difference.
When traveling with children, you may need to take a few extra steps to make sure they are protected. Do not hesitate to inquire into the backgrounds of the crewmembers in the onboard daycares, especially if your children will spend any amount of time there. Additionally, you may want to establish routine check-ins so that you will have a regular idea of how your child is doing, and always pay attention to anyone your child seems to befriend. For those who are old enough, it may be worthwhile to have a conversation about understanding boundaries and speaking up when something doesn’t seem right.
Let LMAW Help You Navigate Your Case
That said, we absolutely understand that tragedy can strike to even the most vigilant of individuals. And when it does, it can be overwhelming to determine the best next steps. It is important to make sure you report the incident, take notes of the event, and seek legal representation you can trust as soon as possible. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have guided countless clients through some of the most challenging times.
So if you have become the victim of rape or sexual assault, speaking with a cruise ship rape lawyer on our team can help. We vow to stand by your side until you get the justice you deserve. Ready to take control of your future? Then do not hesitate to contact us.