Reporting a Cruise Ship Rape or Sexual Assault

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one is sexually assaulted or raped on a cruise ship, there are critical steps that must be taken as soon as possible to preserve evidence.

Our cruise ship rape lawyers in Miami have represented the victims of cruise ship crimes for decades. We understand what a traumatic and awful effect that an episode of sexual violence can have not only on a victim but their loved ones also. The cruise ship sexual assault attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz in Miami have compiled a list of recommendations for the victims and their loved ones in the event of a cruise ship rape.

Some of these may seem counterintuitive but rest assured these recommendations are based on our experience in representing the victims of cruise ship crimes and sexual violence. We are standing by to talk with you. Just call us at (877) 475-2905 and allow us the opportunity to answer your questions.

What You Should do to Report a Cruise Ship Sexual Assault or Rape

There are two main focuses after a sexual assault on a cruise ship: the safety of the victim and preservation of evidence. Consider the following:

  1. Protect yourself from further harm. Get to a safe place. Plan only your next step. Try to focus on what you need to do. In those immediate moments following any kind of assault, you will need to rely on yourself until you can get the help that you need.
  2. Get help from a trusted friend or family member. Hopefully, you have someone who can go with you to make a report.
  3. Make a report to the cruise ship security officer. Insist the the crime scene be secured until the FBI or a qualified professional can collect evidence and investigate.
  4. Secure the scene of the crime as best you can. Try to make certain that no one enters the area or destroys any potential evidence. The scene should only be investigated by a professional who has been qualified in evidence collection.
  5. Retain the clothes of the victim in a paper bag when possible. If in doubt about saving anything, then err on the side of caution.
  6. Document everything that you can with a cell phone. Photographs and videos may make the difference later after evidence has disappeared or been destroyed.
  7. Gather potential witness’ names and contact information. A cell phone can be used for notes, video or photographs so that you can retain the necessary information for each possible witness.
  8. Although this may sound cruel, it is critically important that the victim waits to shower, brush their teeth, eat, drink, use a bathroom or clean anything that may contain DNA evidence. After a medical professional has completed a forensic exam is completed, a rape kit administered and evidence collected, then the medical staff will assist the victim.
  9. Blood samples of the victim should be taken by a medical professional and only people who are trained and qualified to help rape victims should be working with the victim.
  10. Ask and if necessary demand to see a medical professional so that rape kit can be administered and the victim can be medically examined.
  11. Even if the cruise ship security officer, employee, manager or medical staff tell the victim that the FBI was contacted, we urge the victim to speak directly with the FBI agent in charge. Never trust or rely upon anyone employed by the cruise ship to make the FBI report. Furthermore, cruise ship sexual assault victim has an absolute right to speak directly with the FBI concerning the crime that was committed.
  12. If the rape or sexual assault happens at sea, then the victim or loved one should immediately telephone the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI and obtain advice on what to do. The FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. can be reached at 202-324-3000. The U.S. Coast Guard emergency numbers are:
    • Pacific Area Command Center (for the Hawaiian, Alaskan and Pacific Coasts) – (510) 437-3700
    • Atlantic Area Command Center (for Great Lakes, Gulf and East Coasts) – (757) 398-6390
  13. Under the CVSSA (Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act), the medical staff is required to provide you with a safe, secure and private phone line and computer terminal or access to the Internet to speak with the FBI, Coast Guard, cruise ship rape lawyer and any type of rape crisis counselor or hotline.
  14. Due to the seriousness of a cruise ship sexual assault, the investigation that is necessary and the legal complexities involved, the victim should contact the best cruise ship rape attorney they can identify to advise and explain their legal rights.
Miami Cruise Ship Rape and Sexual Assault Lawyers

At Gerson and Schwartz, our legal team has decades of experience of helping victims in cruise ship sexual assault cases. Our lawyers conduct an extensive and professional investigation. We gather all the available evidence and have it reviewed by a team of experts.

We are here to help you and your family through the most difficult times following a cruise ship rape or sexual assault. Call us with any questions at (877) 475-2905.

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