For many individuals, having the opportunity to take a cruise with family and loved ones is a dream come true. However, in addition to all the plans for fun in the sun and decisions about which excursions to take once the ship reaches a destination, cruisers also must keep safety in mind as they travel. Quite often, the last thing on a vacationer’s mind is the possibility that he or she might face any level of criminal activity, much less a violent crime. Unfortunately, as just about any maritime professional can tell you, crime onboard vessels is very common, particularly the crimes of sexual assault and rape.
Victims Face Challenges Filing Claims
Although the media may report a variety of incidents, the general public may not hear about all of the rapes and sexual assaults that occur during cruises on a yearly basis. In fact, many individuals who are victimized in such a manner during their vacations do not tell anyone about the incident. However, in 2013, four of the major cruise lines revealed that 25 allegations of sexual assault and rape were made between January and June of that year.
In previous years, the companies could avoid cooperating with the local police and federal authorities if a major crime took place on their ships. However, first-time cruisers and repeat vacationers alike should be aware that if they are raped or sexually assaulted by ship employees, the companies that are found guilty can and will be held strictly liable for the wrongful, intentional and criminal actions of those employees. Our cruise ship rape attorneys understand that it is often quite difficult for victims to pursue claims and have proper investigations conducted given the overall situation. But a cruise ship rape lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is prepared to help you fight for your rights under the law and obtain the justice you and your family deserve.
The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010
President Barack Obama, in 2010, signed into law the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010. Under this law, all operators of cruise ships are required to report to the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security all incidents of rape, sexual assault and other types of violent crimes. Also, the law calls for vessels to institute additional security and safety measures, such as maintaining room key access logs, using video surveillance and keeping copies of such surveillance, and making rape kits available for those who have been victimized during a cruise.
Because assaults and rapes can take place anywhere on the high seas during the actual cruise, victims are encouraged to seek the services of a skilled, knowledgeable lawyer who understands the intricacies of the law when handling cases involving rape or a sexual assault. Determining which laws will govern the case can be challenging; however, there are already laws and certain cases that allow for Florida to have jurisdiction, depending on the particulars of the case.
If you or a loved one has been raped or sexually assaulted while on a cruise ship, you do not have to deal with the situation on your own. Let a cruise ship rape lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.