Private Security Investigates Sexual Assault Claims Aboard Cruise Ships
In case you didn’t know, reports of sexual assault aboard cruise ships are significantly higher than the general public. One of the major reasons for this is that folks travel to the cruise ship to escape the system of social values that they generally find themselves in. With less risk of social repercussions, people find themselves in situations that incur less risk. This could place them in a mindset where there are fewer consequences than otherwise. In other words, in the context of a cruise ship where no one knows who you are, it’s easier to get away with something like sexual assault.
Is that true? Yes, as a matter of fact. It is true. Issues related to clouded jurisdiction can make it more difficult to hold an attacker accountable for their conduct. While the U.S. will prosecute someone who commits a crime in another country, it is likely unwilling to try a case against someone from another country even if they assault an American citizen.
It is also true that there is a lack of independent law enforcement aboard cruise ships leaving matters completely to the discretion of private security which is employed directly by the cruise ship. This creates a conflict of interest.
Private security paid by cruise lines investigates sexual assaults
Today, there is a requirement to report cruise ship sexual assaults to the FBI. But on-board security is bought and paid for by the company that owns the cruise ship. For victims, it can be quite frustrating because these individuals are not trained in criminal forensics and it can be difficult to build either a criminal or civil case against the cruise line. Of course, this benefits the cruise line for two reasons. Firstly, it reduces the likelihood that a civil case against the cruise line will be successful (for lack of evidence and improper evidence collection techniques) and this improves the reputation of the cruise line too, even though it should do the opposite.
The cruise ship may be required to report the matter to the FBI, but by the time the FBI is involved, the crime scene may have already been tainted.
Security’s request for more resources rebuffed
According to a BuzzFeed report, cruise ship security requested more resources, more personnel, and better training, but were rebuffed in their efforts over concerns about the cost. In other words, the cruise lines are fine with the number of sexual assaults and know that they will always have customers despite exposing their passengers to danger. They can bury the story among a number of other gut wrenching headlines, pay victims under seal, and brush the entire thing under the rug.
So far it’s working and very little is being done to fix it.
Talk to a Florida Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert have the litigation chops you need to take on a big company and hold them accountable for their negligence. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your allegations immediately.