Many cruise ship passengers feel a false sense of community while onboard the ship. In reality, they are far from home and surrounded by strangers, having to rely on the cruise line and its security personnel to keep them safe. Each year, hundreds of cruise ship passengers fall victim to sexual assaults and other crimes. When passengers are sexually assaulted onboard a cruise ship, they should take certain steps to ensure their rights are protected.
First and foremost, they should not count on the cruise line to look out for their interests. Even though cruise officials may do their best to provide the victim with suitable medical treatment as well as properly investigate and report the incident, the cruise line will still be concerned with its potential liability.
Following a cruise ship sexual assault, the victim should:
- Immediately seek medical treatment at the nearest emergency room or at the onboard medical facilities and insist on being given a rape kit
- Immediately call the FBI and/or the United States Coast Guard to report the incident
- Notify ship security
- Avoid showering or bathing until a rape kit has been completed
- Avoid washing clothing or bedding until qualified medical personnel has examined it
- Insist that the crime scene be secured until law enforcement arrives
- Take photographs of the crime scene and all visible injuries
- Record witness names and contact information
- Obtain as much information as you can regarding the attacker
- Contact a qualified maritime attorney for legal advice
Cruise ship sexual assaults can be even more terrifying than onshore attacks, because unless a ship is in port, victims are isolated at sea, and law enforcement is not easily accessible.
Are you coping with the effects of cruise ship rape? Contact a Boston maritime attorney today to discuss your case with a lawyer dedicated to protecting the rights of maritime rape victims and with a history of representing victims of assaults at sea.
Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers