Sexual assaults have become all too common on cruise ships. These horrifying attacks can be difficult to recover from and, even years later, may still have a profound impact on feelings of safety, security, and self-worth.
Our Miami cruise ship accident lawyers have found a number of resources available for victims of cruise ship rape and sexual assault. These resources help victims recover from their horrifying ordeal and provide important safety information so others can avoid becoming victims.
If you have suffered a sexual assault on a cruise ship, please contact the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. online or by calling (800) 215-7117 to schedule a free consultation. Our compassionate and dedicated attorneys fight for the rights of victims of sexual and physical assault on cruise ships on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect an attorney’s fee until you get the justice you deserve. We serve women and men living throughout the nation from our office in Miami, Florida.
The Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act
In 2010, congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (CVSSA) to address the growing safety issues faced by cruise ship passengers. The CVSSA ensures that passengers have access to medical care including onboard sexual assault forensic exams and other resources.
The CVSSA established passenger rights that include:
- The right to receive a security guide that contains information on where to go and who to talk to if a crime occurs. It is also required to provide information on legal proceedings for the locations that the ship may travel through and the contact information for are U.S. embassies and consulates.
- The right to have a sexual assault forensic exam on board the ship. Cruise ships must have the staff, supplies and equipment to provide this medical exam.
- The right to confidentiality.
The Maritime Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Coast Guard have developed model training standards to help ensure CVSSA is in effect on every cruise ship. Any crew member should be able to assist you in finding the proper authority on your ship to report incidents to.
Resources for Passengers and Victims
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and https://ohl.rainn.org/online/) Find out more at https://rainn.org/public-policy/sexual-assault-issues/cruise-ship-safety.
- Coast Guard Investigative Service: The Coast Guard is responsible for cruise ship safety under the CVSSA. The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) has evolved a great deal over its century of service. The organization conducts routine onboard inspections of cruise ships and compiles data on cruise ship crime statistics.
- The United States Department of Transportation: The DOT offers consumer assistance regarding cruise ships and keeps detailed cruise line incient reports.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation: The FBI has jurisdiction over criminal cruise ship investigations. In 2007, they issued a statement before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure discussing the problems of cruise ship crimes. The FBI's Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) may provide assistance to U.S. citizens who are victims of crimes on board cruise ships and other sea vessels when the FBI is reviewing an incident or conducting an investigation.
- The Federal Maritime Commission: The FMC is the regulatory authority over international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and consumers. Learn more at http://www.fmc.gov/resources/cruise_passenger_assistance.aspx.
- The International Cruise Victims Association: The ICVA offers information and support to victims about various cruise ships crimes, including cruise ship rape.
If you or someone you know has suffered from a rape on cruise ship or any other form of sexual assault, the above resources can help you in assessing your rights. Additionally, the above sites contain a number of tips on maintaining your safety and avoiding cruise ship sexual assault.
The experienced cruise ship sexual assault attorneys at our firm support the work performed by these organizations, but understand that their scope is often criminal prosecution and not getting fair compensation for victims. To learn how you can recoup financial damage necessary for ongoing services and other considerations, please call us at (800) 215-7117 and speak directly with one of our attorneys today.