Nearly 60 percent of sexual assault victims never report the incident to the authorities, according to annual statistics reported by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (http://www.rainn.org/statistics).
Every two minutes a person succumbs to this form of victimization on land and sexual assault on cruise ships is no exception. However, the exact amount of incidence at sea is not reported nearly enough by cruise passengers that experience this devastating crime.
Sexual Harassment on a Cruise Ship
The Federal Bureau of Investigations indicates that sexual assault at sea is a dominant threat to women and minors and sexual assault is the leading form of at sea crime reported to and investigated by the FBI (http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/cruise-ship-crime-and-security).
Taking precautionary measures is important for reducing the risk of sexual assault but no matter the caution implemented, the victim is not at fault if assault does occur. Alcohol or drug use on the part of the potential victim or perpetrator amplifies the risk of sexual assault. An intoxicated woman that is alone or separated from a group doubles the chance of a perpetrator taking advantage.
Cruise ships often have nooks and cranny’s easily concealed for putting someone in a precarious position. If you imbibe, do so in a group and avoid walking around intoxicated and alone on a cruise ship. Meeting new people on a cruise ship is part of the allure of anonymity. Although the sense of community abounds, the new companions are strangers. Stay on guard with your surroundings and in dealings with new acquaintances. Avoid inviting strangers to your cabin or going to a stranger’s cabin. If new companions walk you to your cabin, make sure you securely lock the doors upon parting.
Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Trust your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave the situation. Strangers on a cruise are subject to causing potential harm but so are the staff members. If you feel as if a staff member is watching you closely or even stalking, tell your friends and keep a close eye on the potential perpetrator. Engaging in activities on the cruise ship is intended for your enjoyment but if something does not sound right in the activity description, check the facts before you participate.
In the event of sexual assault avoid showering and washing any material involved in the assault, immediately seek medical attention and ask for a forensic examination, report the incident to cruise ship security and telephone the FBI to report the crime (http://www.rainn.org/public-policy/sexual-assault-issues/cruise-ship-safety).
About Waks & Barnett, P.A.
Based in Miami, Waks & Barnett attorneys work with clients in Florida, throughout the United States and around the world. The firm’s attorneys practice in the areas of personal injury, accidents and wrongful death, with a specialization in admiralty and maritime law.
- Cruise ship passenger personal injuries and accidents
- Cruise ship passenger illness
- Cruise ship medical negligence
- Sexual assault on cruise ships
- Protecting the rights of passengers and crew