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Seeking justice after a cruise ship assault

Criminal assault isn’t usually listed as a part of an all-inclusive cruise ship package. But when cruise lines fail to provide adequate security for their guests, that’s sometimes what guests get.

Predatory behavior unchecked

Earlier in the year a mother filed a lawsuit alleging that her 15-year-old daughter had been raped aboard a Carnival cruise ship after she left the boat’s alcohol-free club. A group of men who had been kicked out of the club allegedly pushed the girl into an elevator and dragged her to a room where they sexually assaulted her. Much of the behavior leading up to the assault had been captured on cruise ship video cameras, but the lawsuit claims that Carnival had been negligent by not properly monitoring the cameras until it was too late. The lawsuit also claims that the cruise line should have provided better security outside of the alcohol-free club.

Checking a cruise line’s track record

Crime aboard cruise ships must now be reported to the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Transportation now quarterly reports on cruise ship crime which the public can check when researching potential cruise lines for safety. But of course none of that helps the victim of an assault after it’s already happened.

A criminal and civil matter

Cruise ship passengers who have been assaulted can not only report the incident to law enforcement, but can also pursue civil claims against cruise lines for failing to maintain safety aboard the ship. A sexual assault can destroy a lot more than a vacation, and those who have been victim to this kind of crime deserve to be compensated by parties whose negligence allowed dangerous conditions to persist.

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