Much to the surprise of many cruise-goers, sexual assaults and rapes rank among the top crimes that can occur on cruise ships. That being the case, victims of rape and sexual assault should take steps to preserve their rights and protect their cases. Some victims choose not to report the occurrence of a crime for a variety of reasons. However, the cruise ship rape attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. routinely help victims learn about their rights under the law so that they can effectively pursue the justice they deserve.
Although going through such an ordeal will undoubtedly be trying for the victim and his or her travel companions (if any) and family, it is crucial that individuals take action as soon as possible after the rape or sexual assault. The following information is provided to give cruise ship victims an idea of what needs to be done as soon as possible after being attacked.
Report the Crime as Soon as Possible and Go to the Ship Infirmary
Anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted on a cruise ship should advise onboard security of what happened right away. Additionally, you, as the victim, should contact the FBI and the United States Coast Guard to report the crime if the incident occurred while at sea. The cruise line will likely advise you that they will contact the FBI; however, you have the right to speak to them yourself and provide your side of the story to them directly. Don’t rely on the cruise line to do this in every instance.
Also, many attorneys who routinely deal with cases involving rape and sexual assault know that it is wise for people who have been victimized while onboard to go to the ship’s infirmary for treatment of any physical injuries they may have sustained during the incident. Individuals are strongly encouraged to avoid washing or disposing of their clothes, washing their bedding, brushing their teeth, or taking a shower right after the incident, as doing so might destroy crucial evidence that will be necessary to resolve the case. Victims should only take such actions after they have been examined by a qualified medical professional examines them.
Jot Down Notes, Take Pictures and Collect Names
An experience such as a rape or sexual assault can be quite harrowing for a victim, as well as mentally taxing. That is why it is important for someone who has been victimized to write down as much about the incident as possible right away in order to preserve all memories. As time passes, it is not uncommon for individuals to forget or fail to recall certain things that took place on the day of the incident, but jotting down notes can be beneficial when discussing the sexual assault or rape with an attorney who will be handling the case.
Victims should also maintain a list of all names and contact information of any individuals who were involved in the incident, as well as those who may have witnessed any aspect of the incident. If possible, those who have been attacked should have pictures taken of their injuries and/or bruises. Photographic evidence is often a very powerful tool that can be used as part of a case.
In an effort to assist accident victims and their families, a cruise ship rape lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. has created a cruise ship lawyer application for use on iPhones and Android phones that will allow a victim to store information about a rape, sexual assault or any other crime that occurs while onboard a cruise ship. If you or someone you love has been victimized while on a cruise ship, contact our office today.