Rights and Protections for Sexual Assault Victims on Cruise Ships

man and dog on balconySexual assaults often occur during cruise ship voyages. Just recently, the Royal Bahamas Police Force took a United States citizen into police custody in connection with an alleged sexual assault incident. Both the suspect and the victim were passengers of a cruise ship. This incident was reported shortly after 9:00 a.m. when the female victim informed Bahamian police that she was sexually assaulted. The suspect was arrested and taken into police custody. Given that these crimes are not rare, it is important that victims have certain rights and protections on board cruise ships for when they are, or may have been, victimized. This article will touch on the victim rights expounded in the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010.

If you or a loved one is a victim of a crime at sea, it is important that an experienced maritime lawyer is retained for the case. Cruise ship companies have their own lawyers who work for them following an incident and so should you. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA provide high quality legal representation. For more information call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.

Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010

It is important to remember that cruise ships do not have law enforcement officials on board.  However, they are not without security personnel. These security personnel are typically trained to maintain the safety on cruise ships and to protect evidence of a crime.

Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (“CVSSA”). Said Act addresses various safety issues on cruise ships including sexual violence prevention and victim response. The Act helps ensure that, if sexual violence does occur, passengers have access to medical attention, have a sexual assault forensic exam on board, and that a report is made if sexual violence does take place. The passenger rights guaranteed under CVSSA were intended to make cruise ship traveling safer.

It is critical that you are knowledgeable of these rights. For one, you are entitled to a security guide, a written summary that details who to speak with and where to go if a crime takes place.  The security guide is required to include criminal law procedures for crimes that are committed in waters the vessel may travel during the voyage. As noted above, you also have the right to a sexual assault forensic exam on board the vessel. Cruise ships are specifically required to have this equipment should a sexual assault occur. In addition, you have the right to confidentiality when you make a request and receive these support services. Any help or information requested or received during this process must remain confidential.     

Hire an Attorney for Your Case

If you or a loved one is a victim of a crime on a cruise ship, such as a sexual assault, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA have the experience and knowledge needed to protect you. Our firm specializes in representing crime victims at sea. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA all of our lawyers are licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts. We provide aggressive quality legal representation. For more information and a FREE consultation call us toll free at 1-877-475-2905 or contact us online.

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