By now many of our readers know that we handle cruise line sexual assault cases. Many people are surprised to learn that cruise line sexual assault and rapes are usually perpetrated by cruise line employees, not by other passengers. Cruise ships operate in a complex legal status, where a ship can physically be in a country, while being “flagged” (registered) in another country, and populated by citizens of many countries around the world. Perhaps this is the reason that many times the perpetrator of cruise ship sexual assaults walk free.
When a cruise ship passenger accuses another person of having sexually assaulted them, standard procedures should be followed to investigate the claim. A rape kit should be performed, if possible. The scene of the assault should be treated as a crime scene. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Victims of cruise ship sexual assault have alleged for years that cruise line personnel can be very unsympatheic when it comes to getting help. There have even been reports that a rape hit was refused by the attending medical staff aboard the cruise ship. Errors like these can have grave consequences when trying to bring the accused to justice.
There have also been numerous reports that the accused perpetrator has simply been forced off the ship at the nearest port after having been accused of committing a sexual assault. This means no arrest, no trial. It has even been reported that these same people will often then be hired by another cruise line.
Thankfully, there are many cases where the accused perpetrators have been brought to justice. But, given the overall number of allegations, it seems that the cruise industry needs to do more to protect their passengers, and put sexual predators behind bars.