Cruise Ship Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Fighting for the Victims of Assault & Rape on Our Coasts
There’s a secret lying in wait off our shores. Cruise liners are advertised as vessels of luxury, promising days filled with decadent food, constant entertainment, and countless options for recreation and relaxation. At the same time, cruise ships have a dark secret—a problem that they’ve barely begun to confront. It’s a problem that is, unfortunately, as common on the seas as it is on land.
Cruise line crews have repeatedly been accused of raping passengers since 2010. Something needs to change.
Between 2010 and 2014, there were over 150 reported cases of sexual assault or attempted rape onboard cruise ships. Law enforcement experts, speaking about sexual assault cases in general, estimate that these 150 cases represent only a third of total sexual assaults that occurred during that period, bringing the potential total up to 450 or more. That’s 450 victims of sexual violence, an unacceptable statistic by any measure.
Many of these cases involved members of the crew assaulting passengers—violating their trust, autonomy, and free will. In these cases, it’s not only the perpetrator that’s responsible. The company that owns the cruise has a responsibility to protect passengers by hiring safe and ethical crew members and by enforcing policies regarding crew/passenger interaction.
Our firm stands by the victims of sexual violence, helping them afford the treatment, care, and counseling they need.
Premises Liability Law & Your Case
Sadly, too few of the perpetrators of sexual assault are brought to justice. As many victims know, many perpetrators are never even caught, much less charged. However, as it pertains to sexual harassment on cruise ships, you don’t need a perpetrator to face criminal charges to file a civil suit. Your case hinges on premises liability instead, an area of the law that affects the safety of physical locations (among other things).
Essentially, the law holds cruise liners responsible for their passengers' well-being for every moment they spend on board. This is especially true regarding their safety. If a crew member used their knowledge and status to commit sexual harassment or attempt assault of a passenger, the company is responsible for it because they are responsible for the crew and the passenger.
The burden of proof in criminal cases is different from civil cases—meaning the criminal status of your assailant has no bearing on a lawsuit's possible success. If you’re unsure if it was a crew member who committed the crime, the cruise line may still be found responsible. You’ll need to discuss the specific details of your case in a free, confidential consultation with our attorneys, but we can help you determine if you have a case.
Sexual Abuse on Cruise Ships: FAQ
I was working on the cruise ship when I was assaulted. What are my rights?
If you were working on a cruise ship and experienced any type of sexual harassment or assault by a direct superior, fellow crew member, or passenger, you have the right to seek justice. Employers have an obligation to keep employees safe, and to address sexual harassment when it arises by taking reports seriously, conducting investigations, and appropriately disciplining the harasser. If the act was criminal, it should be reported to law enforcement. If you tried to report or speak out against harassment and were punished for it, you have the right to take action against your employer. Our attorneys can explain your rights and options to help you see justice served.
Who is responsible if I was sexually harassed or assaulted on a cruise ship?
Whether the person who assaulted you was a crew member or another passenger, fault may lie with the cruise ship company. Cruise liners and their crews have an obligation to keep passengers safe, and that includes preventing unwanted sexual advances, physical assault, and more. If they failed to keep you safe, this could provide grounds for a successful lawsuit in which you could pursue financial compensation for your physical and emotional injuries, ongoing trauma, and even punitive damages if gross negligence or wrongdoing was involved.
Are sexual assault cases on cruise ships handled in criminal or civil court?
A cruise ship sexual assault case can be filed in both civil and criminal court. Because sexual assault is a crime, the offender may face criminal charges and the possibility of jail/prison time. Because the person who was assaulted experienced harm, a case can also be filed in civil court against the offender and possibly their employer, as some instances of sexual assault and harassment can be traced back to negligent hiring policies or failures to perform background checks on crew members. With civil court cases, a victim has the chance to seek justice and compensation.
The Cost of Sexual Violence
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are victims of sexual assault. According to a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine from January 2017, each of these victims will lose $122,000 or more over the course of their lives due to sexual violence—either from getting treatment, losing earning power due to lingering trauma, or other damages.
You shouldn’t be forced to pay for the trauma you suffered. You’ve already been the recipient of one of the worst crimes that can be inflicted upon a person. These companies are responsible for fighting for your safety, for your health, for you, and they failed. Simple as that.
In our experience, the only way a company does the right thing is when you force them to—and that’s what Arnold & Itkin does. We force cruise liners to do the right thing. Let us help you exercise your voice again. We can’t undo what happened, but we can make sure the people responsible won’t ever forget about their failure ever again. Even better, we help you get the treatment you need to move forward.
Call (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation with our team today. We want to answer your questions. We want to give you a way to fight back. We want to help you get justice.