The Probability of Sexual Assault on a Cruise

Anyone can be sexually assaulted at any time and in any location. Many vacationers are so focused on the planned activities of the trip that they sometimes forget to remain vigilant when it comes to watching out for crime–even when they are onboard a cruise ship. Unbeknownst to many vacationers, crime does occur on ships, and rapes and sexual assaults are more common than many people realize. That is why it is crucial for individuals to always be mindful of their surroundings, and if traveling with children, keep a very close eye on them as well.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. are maritime professionals who are prepared to help anyone who has been assaulted or raped while cruising the high seas deal with the realities of the potential legal battle that lies ahead. The firm’s cruise ship rape lawyers are well aware of the sensitive nature of such crimes and they will handle any and all information related to the case with the utmost discretion and sensitivity. Cruises can be a fun and exciting new adventure for families and loved ones, but it important that individuals traveling by ship know the risks involved.

What Are Your Chances of Being Sexually Assaulted?

Over the years, the FBI has noted the prevalence of sexual assaults and rapes onboard ocean liners. More specifically, the agency noted that, of all the crimes at sea that get reported to them, sexual assault is the top reported and investigated crime. It is often quite difficult to obtain exact statistics with respect to the number of occurrences of rape and sexual assault that take place on cruise ships, in part due to the fact that many victims do not report the crime and many cruise liners fail to report (or underreport) the crimes.

Some vessels have started to release their sexual assault statistics, and the numbers indicate that the industry as a whole has not been completely transparent about the level of safety onboard. For instance, in 2012, 29 sexual assault crimes were reported to the FBI; however, the public only heard about 11 of those crimes. And of those above-mentioned 29 sexual assault crimes in 2012, 10 of the victims were minors, 18 were adults and 1 was noted as “other.” Our firm believes these numbers are extremely low and do not accurately reflect the number of sexual assault incidents that do occur. Knowledge is power, and the cruise ship rape attorneys at our law firm know that if you or a traveling companion is victimized, you have rights under the law and it is important for you to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.

Recent Cruise Rape Statistics

Unfortunately, cruise ship rape and sexual assault are a growing reality for many passengers and crewmembers. Despite best efforts by individuals and cruise companies to decrease the frequency of these attacks, rape and sexual assault aboard cruise ships are the most common crime. Until recently, finding cruise ship rape statistics was a difficult task, but not anymore. There now exists a resource from the U.S. Department of Transportation, for curious passengers and crewmembers to get the most recent data on all cruise crimes.

The most recent statistics are from January 1st to March 31st of 2017. During that time, 10 passengers and six crewmembers suffered sexual assaults aboard their ship. This gives us a grand total number of 16, but it does not specifically distinguish the severity of the cases. It also does not account for the countless cases that go unreported every year.

That said, it is a starting point from which one can gain a better understanding of the current cruise ship rape situation. These most recent statistics should not frighten or intimidate individuals who are embarking on a cruise, but rather help illustrate that while a serious problem that they need to be mindful of, it is not one that should prevent anyone from taking cruises.

Keeping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe

While it is true that no one can ever truly predict when sexual assault may occur, there are a few key things that vacationers can do to help keep themselves as safe as possible. For example, travelers are encouraged to explore the ship in groups when possible. It is far easier for an assailant to target someone who is walking alone as opposed to someone who is walking with a large group of people. Additionally, travelers should avoid secluded or isolated areas of the ship. When ordering a drink, watch it being made and keep an eye on it afterwards. Reports of the use of date rape drugs have been made on many occasions. Just because you are on a ship does not automatically mean that you are safe from harm. Have a good time, but be mindful of others.

If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted while cruising, let one of our well-versed lawyers help you with your case. Contact a cruise ship rape lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. today.