Reduce Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted on a Cruise

Don’t Be a Target for Sexual Assault on a Cruise

When taking cruises, travelers tend to let their hair down and relax a bit more than usual. So much so that they may place some of their typical safety concerns on the shelf until they return to shore. However, maritime professionals understand that sexual assault on ships happens more frequently than many people realize. Some travelers let their guard down while on a cruise because they are not exposed to the typical outside forces that may arise while on land, and – after all – they are on vacation. While there is no way to know whether you or your travel companions will be attacked while onboard a cruise, there are ways to help lower the odds of becoming a target. It is also helpful to know what to do after an attack or injury.

Five Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Sexual Assault on a Cruise

Vacationers are advised to keep the following things in mind as they go about enjoying their vacation and related activities:

  1. Don’t let your guard down. Do not automatically think you are safe on a ship. Many individuals view cruise ships as some sort of private city that floats on water. However, you should act in the same way you would on land when it comes to maintaining your personal safety. Unfortunately, hundreds of crimes take place every year while traveling the high seas, and even though some ships are equipped with sophisticated camera systems and security teams, none of those things will shield a traveler from being harmed while onboard. Additionally, reports have shown that crew members, not passengers, commit many of the sexual assaults that take place on ships. Accordingly, you should always remain alert and vigilant as you walk throughout the ship.
  2. Steer clear of isolated areas. One sure way for individuals to lessen their chances of being sexually assaulted while on a ship is to avoid walking in areas of the ship set off or isolated from the main areas. Unfortunately, those unscrupulous individuals who are out to assault others will likely be lurking in places away from camera surveillance or off limits to passengers. Always stay within eyesight and earshot of other travelers.
  3. Don’t go out alone. Travel in pairs—or with several people. Generally, it is easier for an attacker to set his or her sights on a passenger who is walking around alone, as opposed to people who travel in pairs or larger groups. Sexual offenders tend to focus in on individuals who are alone, and they will try to gain their trust prior to them making their move. Try to stay with a group as often as possible while cruising, and if you are traveling with children, do not let them roam freely around the ship. Always keep children close by, even on ships that specifically cater to them.
  4. Always watch your drinks. Keep an eye on your drink as it’s being made and afterward. There are many reported instances of date rape drugs being used. Don’t assume your drink is safe because a crew member serves it to you.  You should use the same care you would use in a crowded bar on land.
  5. Watch your back. As you go about the task of figuring out which activities you will most enjoy and which ones will give you an opportunity to make new friends, always remember to watch your back, especially when socializing with the other passengers onboard. Just like when you are on land, you are encouraged to choose your new friends and confidants wisely, making certain you never go to a stranger’s cabin alone or with others.

These are important things to keep in mind as you head off on a cruise vacation. You should focus on having a good time, but don’t be a moving target for sexual assault. Life on a cruise is a little different from the real world, and you should always keep your safety at the forefront of your mind. If you or someone you love has been attacked and/or sexually assaulted while on an ocean liner, contact a cruise ship rape lawyer at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. right away to discuss the particulars of your case.