Prevalence of Rape and Sexual Assault on Cruise Ships

The best cruise ship rape lawyers agree that rape and sexual assault are the most common crimes committed on cruise ships. These same attorneys will admit that a significant number of cruise ship sexual assaults and rapes go unreported by victims.

This problem is compounded by the cruise lines’ classification and reporting of these crimes. So, when the prevalence of cruise ship rape and sexual assault is examined, there are official records and then there is reality. The reality of cruise ship rape and sexual assault is that these crimes happen at a much higher rate than anyone in the cruise ship industry will admit.

The Problem of Unreported Cruise Ship Rapes and Sexual Assaults

In the general public, it is estimated that for every 1000 sexual assaults only 344 are ever reported to the police. That means that the majority of sexual assaults go unreported to law enforcement. The reasons for not reporting sexual violence crimes include:

  • retaliation
  • belief that it was a personal matter
  • belief that it was not important enough to make a report
  • belief that law enforcement would not do anything

As applied to sexual violence that occurs on cruise ships, these statistics support the opinion of cruise ship rape lawyers who believe that most sexual assaults and rapes on cruise ships go unreported.

In addition, the unique circumstances of being on a cruise ship can also contribute to the underreporting of cruise ship sexual violence. Cruise ships are basically small cities floating in the water. While cruise lines employ security, these small floating cities do not have an official law enforcement presence. While the FBI is charged with the responsibility of investigating criminal acts that occur on most cruise ships, experienced cruise ship rape lawyers will always advise clients to make their own report of any incident directly to the FBI. In other words, victims should not rely upon the cruise line to make the report.

No victim should ever forget the financial interest of the cruise line in protecting its image and reputation. The industry spends a tremendous amount of money promoting the image of a carefree vacation full of magical moments. It is simply not in their best interests to report every claim or instance of sexual violence, rape or assault. To avoid being victimized for a second time by the cruise line, top cruise ship sexual assault lawyers will always confirm that an accurate report was made to the FBI.

CCVSA - Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act - Statistical Compilation

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010 sets forth the safety and security requirements for nearly all of the cruise ships entering or leaving the USA. The CCVSA requires that crimes be reported to the FBI- Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Department of Transportation posts these quarterly reports.

Here are the participating cruise lines:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Crystal Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruise Lines
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Cruise Lines
  • Mediterranena Shipping Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Princess Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean

The following are the categories of criminal activities contained within the quarterly reports:

  • Homicide
  • Suspicious Death
  • Missing US National
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault with serious bodily injury
  • Firing or tampering with vessel
  • Theft >$10,000
  • Sexual assault

Anyone can access these reports here.

In reports that are posted, it is obvious that Sexual Assault is the most reported crime every quarter. Nearly one-third of the victims are minors. But there are reasons to be suspicious that these quarterly reports accurately portray the incidences of sexual assault, rape and violence on the reporting cruise ships.

The Problem with the CCVSA Quarterly Reports

It has been said that the “devil is in the details” and that is probably true when one looks at the CCVSA quarterly reports. Consider what these reports do not show. Assaults are listed but only with serious bodily injury. Thefts of less than $10,000 are not reporting. Kidnapping is listed but false imprisonment isn’t. Sexual assault is listed but not defined.

Under the CCVSA, the cruise ship makes the determination of whether an incident or action was a sexual assault. Examples of conduct that may not be classified by a cruise line as sexual assault include:

  • lewd and lascivious conduct
  • sexual conduct
  • molestation
  • groping
  • inappropriate touching
  • stalking
  • sexual harassment

As previously stated, it is not in the cruise line industry’s best interests to report sexual assaults. Having the cruise line determine what is or isn’t a sexual assault is akin to having the fox watch the henhouse. Until these inadequacies and inconsistencies are resolved, the quarterly reports will remain suspect.

Miami Cruise Ship Rape Lawyer Assisting Victims

If you or a family member or the victim of sexual violence, rape or assault on a cruise line ship, then the lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz in Miami are here to help you. We offer free and confidential consultations. Call us at (877) 475-2905 and let us go to work for you.

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