Rape and Sexual Assaults on Cruise Ships Increase from Last Year

Sexual Assaults on Cruise Ships Increase from Last Year

For a number of years, many have argued that cruise lines should be subjected to more stringent requirements for reporting crimes that happen both on board and in the numerous destinations these ships visit. Cruise ship injury attorneys have argued that cruise lines should make passenger safety a top priority and that they should thoroughly explain the measures they are taking to maintain and improve passenger welfare. Unfortunately, a number of cruise passengers are raped, or sexually assaulted every year. In the past, many of these incidents may not have been reported or are under reported by the cruise lines.  A major factor that plays in to the prevalence of these terrible crimes is because cruise ships provide inadequate safety and security measures on their ships. Some cruise ships do not even have security cameras in common areas making a cruise ship an easy target for predators.

Without a clear understanding of the incidents that occur on board, cruise lines often  attempt to dodge legal liability for failing to remedy unsafe conditions. For example, a crew member commits a rape or sexual assault, the cruise line is strictly liable under federal maritime law. In order to avoid legal liability cruise line operators often send the employee back to their place of origin. If a rape or sexual assault is committed by a passenger, then the victim must establish that the cruise line operator failed to act with reasonable care under the circumstances.

In January of 2016, the United States Department of Transportation implemented new cruise ship crime reporting requirements. These reports, called Cruise Line Incident Reports, have been praised by many for encouraging more transparency in cruise ship incidents. Thanks to efforts from the International Cruise Victims Association, these requirements will become standard procedure when incidents occur on board.

The Cruise Ship Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2010 requires cruise line operators like Carnival and others, to notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This allows law enforcement to  begin investigating cruise ship incidents before the passenger ever leaves the ship. The FBI will contact the victim or the victim’s representative once the report of misconduct has been received. The victim will also be sent an FBI agent’s contact information so that the victim may discuss any concerns with that agent. When the victim disembarks the ship, a member of the FBI will be waiting to meet him or her.

Even with the new measures in place, the reported numbers are still troubling many. For example, in the first six months of 2015, 6 sexual assault crimes were reported. In 2016, the number jumped to 39. As for total crimes in the first half of the year, 2015 saw 12 incidents, and 61 were reported in 2016.

Miami cruise ship sexual assault attorneys fight for victims who were raped, fondled, or otherwise inappropriately touched during their vacations. With the new reporting guidelines in place, these attorneys will be able to access comprehensive information that explains the facts of alleged incidents. Using this information, they will build cases for these victims and bring cruise lines to justice for any negligent actions or omissions they may have committed.

Contact a cruise ship sexual assault attorney today to discuss your claim

If you were sexually assaulted while vacationing on a cruise, you should contact a a Miami personal injury attorney that specializes in cruise ship sexual assault cases as soon as possible to understand your rights. At Gerson & Schwartz, we have years of experience in cruise ship rape and sexual assault claims. However, time is of the essence in these cases. Therefore, contact us as soon as possible to set up your free consultation. Call 877-475-2905 or visit our website at injuryattorneyfla.com.

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