Why Do Cruise Companies Turn a Blind Eye to Serious Sexual Assaults?

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Though there is evidence to help prove every case of cruise ship rape and sexual assault, it is unusual that the perpetrator of the crime will admit to the allegations against him in the moments after the incident. Last year a woman cruise passenger was traveling on a ship with a friend when one of the company’s workers grabbed her and told her he wanted to rape her.

As can be seen in the video, not only did the worker admit it when questioned by his superior, but the admission was caught on tape. But despite the admission, the cruise company initially took no action against the worker, and never handed him over to the authorities to face justice.

It seems that there are two protocols cruise ship companies follow when handling reports of cruise ship rape and sexual assault. When the alleged perpetrator is another passenger, it is common that cruise companies respond by detaining the alleged perpetrator and handing him over to the police upon reaching shore. But when the accused perpetrator is a crew member, a different course of action is often taken.

As can be seen in the video above, cruise companies often work to protect crew members who have been accused of sexual crimes. Another prominent, and egregious, example of this was when a Disney Cruises employee was caught on surveillance film kissing an underaged girl, who was approximately 12 years old at the time. Ship authorities were notified in time to turn the perpetrator in to Florida authorities, but instead waited until the ship sailed out of Florida waters before reporting the incident, preventing state authorities from arresting the perpetrator. The perpetrator was later released in his home country, and never faced justice for the crime.