Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Attorney
Sexual assaults on cruise ships are a serious problem that is not getting the attention it deserves.
According to a recent CNN report, over 20 reported sexual attack cases in 2017 alone. In addition, many victims do not come forward out of fear they will be blamed or ignored.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you get justice for your cruise ship rape or sexual assault case by holding the cruise line accountable for their negligence. Let our cruise ship rape lawyers fight for you against all odds.
We have sexual abuse lawyers that are ready to help you today. Just call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number). Our legal team will get back to you within 24 hours with the answers you need about your case. All consultations are free of charge; we only get paid when we win!
Defining Sexual Assault and Rape
Sexual assault and rape are crimes that can have a lasting impact on the victim, especially if they are offenses involving young children. Therefore, it is important to understand better what these terms mean to support victims and sexual assault survivors.
Sexual assault involves any unwanted sexual contact. It includes groping, kissing, and penetration without consent. Rape is a specific type of sexual assault that involves forced sexual intercourse.
Both sexual assault and rape are serious crimes that can result in emotional pain and physical harm to the victim.
It is important to remember that these crimes are never the victim's fault. Supporting victims of sexual assault and rape is an important way to help them recover from their experiences.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault rape, please seek help from a sexual assault lawyer.
Also, there are organizations and hotlines to aid sexual assault survivors in their recovery process.
- The Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN) is a nonprofit that offers confidential help to victims of sexual assault and rape. You can chat with them on their website or call the hotline at 1-800-656-4673. In addition, if you're under 18, please call the RAINN's teen hotline at 1-866-331-9474 or visit online.rainn.org/es to speak with an expert who can help you navigate this difficult situation.
- Atlantic Area Command Center, emergency numbers for the US Coast Guard (Great Lakes, Gulf, and East Coasts) (757) 398-6390.
- Pacific Area Command Center, (Hawaiian, Alaskan and Pacific Coasts) (510) 437-370.
- You can also contact your nearest rape or sexual assault treatment center, local victim support agency, or women's shelter for more information about resources available in your area. Visit http://www1.apa.org/helpcenter/national.aspx for a comprehensive list of local agencies in your area.
Sexual assault and rape are serious crimes that can have lasting physical harm on the victim. If you or someone you know has been a victim of rape and sexual assault, please seek help.
A cruise ship is a perfect place to enjoy and relax. They are used for holidays and other trips where one can just walk around and look at the ocean and admire its beauty.
Cruise companies choose their employees carefully to offer their passengers exceptional services, many of whom are young males in their 20s from third-world countries.
But did you know that a cruise ship can also be a place for crime? Yes, that's right. Crimes such as sexual assaults and rapes are commonly occurring on cruise lines. While onboard, passengers might have a false sense of safety and become complacent.
Cruise Ship Sexual Assault: Crimes Aboard Cruise Ships
Passengers aboard cruise ships often become the victims of cruise ship rape and sexual assault. It is because cruise ships are more than just a way to get from point A to point B; they're a floating city with all the amenities of a five-star hotel. Unfortunately, this also includes criminals who are looking for easy targets.
Sexual assault occurs aboard cruise ships for a variety of reasons. The perpetrator is often someone the victim knows, such as a friend, family member, or crew member.
In other cases, the assailant may be a stranger. Sometimes, the perpetrator is motivated by alcohol or drugs.
An Increase in Cases
In fact, according to FBI data, there was a 40 percent increase in the number of rape cases reported from cruise lines from 2010 to 2014. That is a large jump in just four years! The numbers are shocking.
According to the FBI, of the 18 sexual assaults reported on cruise lines in 2014, 12 were reportedly against minors under 16. Female cruise ship passengers made up 85 percent of victims, with males making up 15 percent.
Sexual assaults occurred on almost all cruise lines across all companies, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Sexual Assault Can Take Place Anywhere
The most common area where sexual assaults happen on a cruise ship is guest staterooms. A staggering 24 reported cases of passenger sexual assault took place in guest staterooms, with six cases on Carnival Cruise Line ships alone! The main perpetrator of these crimes was either a cruise staff member or a cruise passenger.
Cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults have been reported on ships sailing from ports worldwide, including Australia, Europe, and South America. So, no matter where you are cruising, always be aware of your surroundings and be careful.
Cruise ships rape and sexual assault allegations are under increased scrutiny in the cruise industry after a woman allegedly raped onboard a cruise ship filed a suit against Carnival Cruise Lines in December.
A lawsuit filed January 23, 2014, by one of two women who claim they were sexually assaulted while aboard the cruise lines' Ecstasy is raising new questions about cruise liner sexual assault claims.
The women are each seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and $225,000 in punitive damages from Carnival Cruise Lines, alleging that cruise ship employees did nothing to prevent the December 22 incident and then tried to cover it up.
In addition to seeking damages, the two women involved in the Carnival Ecstasy case have also joined a federal lawsuit that accuses the cruise line of failing to provide its crew with adequate security.
In testimony before Congress, testimony from experts raised the possibility that widespread sexual violence is occurring on some popular Navy bases. A former Air Force officer described her command's approach to the problem of sexual attack as "treating rape as a crime of passion."
All Cruiselines Have Sexual Assault Problems
The numbers suggest that Carnival is not alone; while no cruise line wants to be associated with a sexual assault, such incidents occur on ships sailing under all sorts of flags.
The cruise ship sexual attack allegations are coming as the cruise industry faces increased scrutiny following the Costa Concordia disaster in January 2012.
Cruise ship sexual aggression has been the subject of several documentaries, and there is a lot to talk about. The question is whether cruise ships are safe for women or not.
In cruise ship sexual assault cases, the cruise line is typically held liable for the actions of its employees. It includes cruise line employees who may have been responsible for providing security or preventing the assault.
Cases Go Unreported
However, it is important to note that many sexual assaults occur on cruise ships and go unreported. Often victims do not even realize they have been sexually assaulted, which can cause post-violence depression. Most cases typically involve women who are drugged and assaulted in their cabins.
What to do if you are sexually assaulted on a cruise ship? If you are sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, the most important thing is to stay safe and get help for physical harm inflicted. You can report the assault to a crew member of the cruise line security or the police force crew.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is important to ensure that you receive any necessary medical treatment and preserve any evidence that may be available.
If you were a victim of rape or sexual assault on a cruise ship, you need to know your rights.
It is also a good idea to contact a sexual assault law firm as soon as possible. A sexual assault law firm can help you understand your rights and options and provide guidance on proceeding.
If you're planning a vacation this year, make sure your family stays safe and secure while sailing around the world in a floating city.
Cruise Lines have been slow to react to this growing threat, and it's time for them to step up their game if they want our business. It's also important that we as passengers take steps to protect ourselves from becoming victims when we travel next year.
Holding the Cruise Line Financially Accountable
In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of sexual assault on cruise ships. In 2013, a 25-year-old woman was raped by a crew member on a Royal Caribbean ship. The company tried to keep the incident under wraps, but the victim eventually went public with her story.
A few months later, three passengers were gang-raped a teenage girl on a Carnival Cruise ship. Again, the company tried to keep the incident quiet, but one of the rapists was eventually arrested.
In cases of molestation aboard a cruise vessel, it is crucial to have cruise ship rape attorneys who understand maritime law.
Sexual Assault Aboard an Alaskan Cruise Ship
A few weeks ago, a 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a crew member on an Alaskan cruise ship—and this time, it appears that the cruise line is putting up a fight.
Lane Landry, a cruise ship rape or sexual assault lawyer representing the victim, has had difficulty obtaining security footage that would exactly show what happened in the hours leading up to and during the assault. Landry believes that Princess Cruises is trying to cover up the assault because "the video footage will be horrific."
These are just three high-profile cases out of dozens. It's not hard to find stories on cruise ships of women being drugged while they're walking.
It's important to note that rape is one sort of sexual assault, while not all sexual assault encounters are defined as rape.
Aggravated Sexual Abuse on Cruise Ships
Cruise ships should ensure that passengers and crew on board are safe from sexual abuse by ensuring effective procedures to identify, prevent and respond to sexual attack and cruise ship crimes.
There should be a system of reporting that ensures incidents are dealt with promptly and that records are accurate. In addition, systems should ensure that cruise companies investigate all reports of sexual violence or abuse committed by passengers against other passengers or crewmembers and those committed by cruise staff against passengers or crew.
Cruise operators must ensure that their staff is properly trained to identify and deal with potential incidents of sexual attack, including how to report any such incidents properly.
Cruise owners need to have a policy on alcohol and drugs, including information on the effects of alcohol and drugs on behavior and judgment. Cruise lines should make sure there is a policy on preventing sexual harassment. Cruise companies should have a system that ensures allegations of sexual assault are investigated and responded to promptly.
The cruise line industry can formulate a comprehensive passenger safety plan. Cruise lines with large numbers of unaccompanied minors should have age-appropriate crewmembers or others on board who can properly look after them and a policy for reporting any incidents.
Cruise ship companies in the cruising sector can sensitize their passengers on their policies and procedures related to sexual assault and provide clear and concise information about these policies in a way that is easy to understand.
Cruiselines Legal Responsibility
A cruise liner is legally responsible for the actions of its employees if a crew member sexually assaults, rapes, or commits some other crimes.
Cruise passengers and crew members should be aware of their rights and responsibilities concerning sexual assault, and cruise ship companies should ensure that these rights are properly respected. In addition, cruise lines should have a policy on handling allegations of sexual assault made by minors.
The Department of Transportation also offers data from other departments that influence cruise ship passenger problems, including the US Coast Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI. You can use this information to enhance your security.
The Coast Guard is the only federal agency with enforcement powers on ships on US waters. The Department of Transportation has limited jurisdiction, including oversight of vessels that carry over 12 passengers. Coast Guard officials arrive on the cruise liner to process the scene and interview passengers if an incident like a sexual attack occurs.
Cruise Ship Strict Liability
In admiralty law, a shipowner is strictly liable for their failure to use the requisite ordinary care under the circumstances to ensure that no onboard "accident" or "incident" occurs that might result in a passenger's cruise ship injury.
Cruise ships are strictly liable for their employees' negligent or intentional conduct, and cruise ship sexual assault victims can often seek damages from the cruise line.
Sadly, rape and sexual assault occur too often on cruise lines. In fact, a study by the University of South Florida found that there is a sexual assault on a cruise ship every other day.
It is likely due partly to the high number of onboard passengers (often numbering in the thousands) and the lack of cruise vessel security present on many ships.
Victims are sometimes drugged, making it easy for sexual predators to take advantage of them without resistance or memory of what has occurred.
The cruise ship rape or sexual assault lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have helped sexual assault victims sue the cruise line involved in their sexual assault case.
Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Examples
Sexual assault on a cruise ship can take many different forms. Here are some examples:
- A cruise passenger is assaulted while walking to their cabin
- A cruise passenger is assaulted in a public area of the ship
- A crewmember assaults a cruise passenger
- A passenger is assaulted in their cabin
- A passenger is sexually assaulted during a shore excursion
What Maritime Law Stipulates About Cruise Ship Sexual Assault
Maritime law stipulates a few things about cruise ship sexual assault. First, the cruise ship operators are not liable if the assault occurs while the cruise passenger is off the ship.
The cruise line is only responsible for guests onboard their vessel. In addition, if the assault happens during an excursion organized by the cruise line, they may be held liable.
However, they are not responsible if the excursion is booked independently of the cruise line. Finally, to bring a claim against a cruise line for passenger sexual assault, you must do so within one year of the incident.
It's important to be aware of these stipulations before booking a cruise, as they can have a huge impact on your legal case if something happens. If the laws are difficult to understand, contacting a law firm would be helpful.
Why Cruise Companies Cover-up Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a heinous crime. But, unfortunately, it's also all too common. In the United States, one in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That's why it's so alarming that cruise companies do everything they can to cover up sexual attacks on their ships.
How to Stay Safe on a Cruise Ship
To be safe in a cruise ship, cruise passengers and crew members should maintain an increased level of vigilance. Cruise lines are expected to have adequate security measures, but this often is not the case.
Always make sure you're aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone. Also, avoid secluded areas on the ship, stay with a friend if possible, and never leave drinks unattended or accept them from a stranger.
If you have been sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, call the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at 1-800-CALL-FBI, notify the ship's security officer immediately or contact Crime Alert directly to speak with an agent 24 hours a day www.cruisealert.com. We can also connect you to a sexual assault survivor law firm in your area for free, confidential advice.
It's important to remember that cruise lines are like small towns, and just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you're immune to crime. Keep your belongings safe and be alert at all times. Ask a crew member or coast guard for assistance if you're ever in doubt. With a little bit of caution, you can enjoy your cruise vacation worry-free.
Legal Options After a Cruise Ship Lines Sexual Aggression
Were you sexually assaulted on a cruise ship? If so, you might be able to sue the cruise line or another party involved in your assault under theories like negligence or failure to warn cruise ship passengers of the risk of sexual attack.
It's important to speak with acruise ship rape or sexual assault attorney specializing in maritime law to learn more about your options and how likely you are to win a sexual assault claim.
Sexual assault is a crime that can occur on any type of vessel, from cruise lines to fishing boats.
Cruise Ships Sexual Abuse FAQs
In 2018, 463 sexual assault cases were reported to the FBI by people who had been on cruises.
We've created this FAQs guide as an easy-to-read resource about sexual assaults on cruise ships that will help you learn more about this topic and how it affects your passengers' safety while on board ship or in port during shore excursions.
Why Are There Sexual Assaults on Cruise Ships?
There are sexual assaults on cruise ships for several reasons. One reason is that many single people on board may be more likely to accept an offer to go somewhere private in the hopes of meeting someone.
Another is the high volume of alcohol available to passengers and crew members in bars, lounges, and during events like the captain's dinner. It can make people experience a false sense of safety by taking risks they wouldn't ordinarily take, leading to assaults.
Additionally, many cruise ships are large, making it easy for someone to get lost or separated from their group, and there may not be enough staff on board to provide adequate security.
What Should I Do If I'm Sexually Assaulted on a Cruise Ship?
If you are sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, you should tell someone the first thing you should do. It could be a friend, family member, or crew member. You can also contact the FBI, nearest rape treatment center, local law firm, or your nearest consulate.
It's important to try to preserve any evidence of the assault, so you may want to avoid showering, brushing your teeth, or changing clothes until you have a chance to speak to someone about what to do.
You should also report the assault to the cruise liner. Many cruise lines have policies in place for handling sexual assaults. In addition, they may be able to provide you with support services, such as counseling to avert post-traumatic stress disorder or medical care such as sexual assault forensic exams from qualified medical personnel.
They may also have policies in place for removing the assailant from the ship, which could make your vacation less stressful.
What Will Happen After I Report a Cruise Ship Rape?
The police force team will want to talk with you about your case. They might ask some very personal questions about what happened, but they must understand the full details of what happened so they can do their jobs.
Be honest with them, and don't be afraid to say no if you don't want to answer a question or stop the interview at any time.
You will have to tell your story repeatedly in different ways. The detective or prosecutor might ask for details about what happened multiple times, in different ways, to be thorough. If you don't remember something, that's OK. It's not uncommon not to recall certain details of an attack after time has passed.
You might feel like you are to blame for what happened. But remember, it's never your fault when someone commits a crime against you. No matter what clothes you were wearing or whether you told the person "No" before, it is not your fault. You did nothing wrong, and you didn't deserve to be raped.
Investigating officers and the prosecutors who work with them will do their best to hold your rapist accountable. You can help them by telling the truth and giving them every detail you remember about the attack.
Besides, you can keep your clothes to facilitate a sexual assault forensic exam during the incident.
Strength Through Those Supporting You
When your trial starts, it might feel like everyone is against you. But there are people in the courtroom to support you, including a prosecutor or detective working specifically on your case and the defense cruise ship rape attorney representing your rapist.
Your trial might last just one day, or it could go on for several days. In the end, a jury will decide whether your rapist is guilty or not guilty. If he is found guilty, he will be sentenced by a judge.
No matter the outcome of your trial, know that you have done something incredibly brave by coming forward and telling your story. You have taken the first step in holding your rapist accountable for his actions.
If you have been raped, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Some people can help you through this, such as counselors to avoid post-traumatic stress disorder and cruise ship attorneys to hold the culprit accountable.
Who Investigates the Rape and Sexual Assault on Cruise Ships?
Typically, local law enforcement investigates sexual assaults in US waters and the high seas. However, in cases where a ship enters a foreign port or is registered in a foreign country, the flag state for the vessel would be responsible for investigating the assault in its own courts.
According to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), sexual attack victims are offered free access to counselors and other services on board.
According to The International Cruise Victims Association, "The FBI investigates numerous sexual assaults on cruise ships. However, in the United States, local law enforcement agencies handle most crimes that occur at sea."
The FBI has jurisdiction over major crimes in American waters and US-flagged vessels globally. However, in a 2004 report, "Shipboard Security and Safety: Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Cruise Ship Industry," a Congressionally appointed panel voiced concerns about law enforcement jurisdiction onboard cruise ships.
The CLIA says that in 2006 there were over three million passengers on around 19,000 cruises. Over the past 15 years, 27 people have been brought to justice for crimes including sexual attacks, manslaughter, and murder. A better-trained cruise ship personnel will have a sound understanding of handling sexual encroachment issues onboard.
According to the CLIA, cruise lines abide by a "zero-tolerance" policy regarding crime and work with law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes.
In 2009, CLIA updated its standards to include new criminal sanctions against crew members who engage in sexual misconduct with passengers under the age of consent both onboard and off the ship. It also included prohibitions on non-consensual sex acts with any cruise passenger regardless of age or consent.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Cruise Ships Sexual Assaults?
There is no one answer to this question as the effects of cruise ship rape can be different for everyone. However, some possible long-term consequences can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
- Flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about the assault
- Poor self-esteem or lack of trust in others
- Alcohol or drug abuse to cope with the pain
- Difficulty maintaining relationships and difficulties with intimacy
Sexual assaults on cruise liners are a serious problem, but by knowing what to do if you're attacked and reporting it immediately, you can get the help you need and hopefully find justice. Please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) for more information.
Hiring a Cruise Line Sexual Assault and Rape Lawyer
Our cruise ship sexual abuse lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC advise that in case of sexual violence, you should not hesitate to report to the law enforcement authorities because it is a federal crime.
Contact us in time, and we will do our best to protect your interests in court proceedings. Our cruise ship law firm handles cases with any connection to USA waters or ports.
Remember that the sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can start building your case.
Do you or someone you know have a cruise ship rape or sexual assault claim? If so, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for a free consultation. You may be experiencing physical and psychological injuries after such a traumatic event, including post-sexual violence, depression (PSVD), anxiety, and depression.
Our team of experienced cruise ship rape attorneys can help you through this difficult time and will work to get you the best possible outcome in your case on a contingency fee basis.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please call us at (888) 424-5757.