Cruise Ships & Yachts Sex Abuse Lawyer

If you were exposed to sexual abuse on a cruise ship or yacht, or even on the beach during a cruise trip, our lawyers can help you obtain compensation for your losses. You can rely on our firm to represent your interests and recover the compensation you deserve from negligent parties.

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Key Takeaways

  • Rape and sexual abuse are among the most common crimes committed against cruise ship passengers.
  • Survivors of cruise ship and yacht sex abuse may experience long-term emotional effects like PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and dissociation.
  • The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act addresses various safety issues present on cruise ships and provides guidance on how cruise lines can prevent sexual violence at sea.
  • If you were sexually assaulted on a cruise ship or yacht, you may pursue compensation for your damages.

Representation for Survivors of Sexual Abuse on Cruise Ships & Yachts

While vacationers often go on cruises to enjoy the amenities of the ship, relax, unwind, and spend time with family or friends, all too often cruise ship passengers are subjected to sexual assault or rape by a cruise ship’s employees or passengers.

Cruise ship companies are obligated to protect passengers on board and may be held liable if passengers are harmed on the ship. If you experienced unwanted sexual contact on a ship, contact the cruise ship and yacht sex abuse lawyers of Edwards Henderson Lehrman today to learn about your rights and options. We offer free and confidential legal consultations.

How Common is Sex Abuse on Cruise Ships and Yachts?

Of the crimes committed against cruise ship passengers, rape and sexual abuse are among the most common. From 2018 to 2019, reports of sexual abuse on late summer cruises jumped 67% with the highest number of incidents being reported on Carnival cruise ships. However, the number of sex abuse incidents on cruise ships and yachts is likely far higher than the data suggests due to the number of occurrences that go unreported. 

The FBI has the responsibility of investigating sex abuse allegations that occur on cruise ships, but due to gaps in federal and international laws in which cruise ships operate, many cruise ship operates choose to not report occurrences that take place on their ships. Experienced sex abuse lawyers would advise survivors to make their own report to the FBI and not count on the cruise ship company to do so. 

How is Cruise Ship and Yacht Sex Abuse Defined?

Sexual abuse is an umbrella term for multiple types of unwanted sexual activity or contact.

Sexual abuse commonly takes the form of physical force like sexual assault. Examples of sexual assault may include:

  • Rape and attempted rape
  • Fondling or any unwanted touching
  • Sexual coercion
  • Any sexual contact with someone who is unable to consent (minors, disabled individuals, someone who is intoxicated, or someone who is asleep)

Sexual abuse may also include engaging in any of the following with minors:

  • Exhibitionism
  • Voyeurism
  • Sexting
  • Sharing pornographic materials

How Are Survivors Affected by Sex Abuse?

Experiencing sex abuse and rape can result in life-changing and long-term physical and mental effects. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), survivors of sexual abuse may experience a range of long- and short-term mental, physical, and emotional effects. Some of the most common long-term mental conditions experienced by survivors of sex abuse include:

  • Depression: This may include prolonged sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest, inexplicable crying, weight problems, and more.
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts: Depression brought on by sex abuse may cause suicidal thoughts and the loss of the desire to live.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This condition may cause flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
  • Anxiety: Many sex abuse survivors experience anxiety along with depression and PTSD after the incident.
  • Disassociation: Survivors of sex abuse may feel detached and have difficulty focusing and being present in everyday situations.

Additionally, survivors may experience long-term emotional effects like feelings of anger or shame, distrust of others, self-blame, shock, guilt, fear, denial, and helplessness.

Who Has Jurisdiction Over Sexual Abuse Cases on Cruise Ships and Yachts?

Since cruise ship sexual assault usually takes place outside of U.S. territory, it can be difficult to determine who has jurisdiction when sexual abuse happens at sea. If the sexual assault survivor or perpetrator is a U.S. citizen and the ship left from or is traveling to a U.S. port, the FBI has jurisdiction over the case. If these factors are not met, authorities will consider the following when determining which government and agency will have jurisdiction over the case:

  • The ship’s location
  • The perpetrator’s and survivor’s nationalities
  • Which cruise line owns the ship
  • Where the ship departed from and is returning to
  • Which country the ship is incorporated in

Because the laws regarding jurisdiction of cruise ship and yacht sexual abuse cases can be confusing, it may be in a survivor’s best interest to consult with a qualified cruise ship sexual abuse attorney who can navigate the complex legal process and advocate on their behalf throughout the case’s duration. Contact Edwards Henderson Lehrman today to speak with a qualified sex assault attorney who can explain your options and answer any questions you may have.

Federal Law Regarding Cruise Ship Sex Abuse

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (CVSSA) addresses various safety issues present on cruise ships and provides guidance on how cruise lines can prevent sexual violence at sea. Specifically, CVSSA gives survivors access to medical care and requires cruise lines to carry the materials and equipment necessary to facilitate a sexual assault forensic exam on the ship in the event of sexual assault.

Additionally, CVSSA gives survivors access to a written summary or security guide that states the next steps to take if a sexual assault occurred. The guide should contain a list of U.S. embassies and information on criminal legal procedures in the territories that the ship travels in.

Contact Our Yacht & Cruise Ship Sex Abuse Lawyers Today

If you were sexually assaulted on a cruise ship or yacht, compensation for your pain cannot change the circumstances, but it can facilitate the healing process more than just seeing the perpetrator criminally charged. At Edwards Henderson Lehrman, our cruise ship and yacht sex assault lawyers are nationally recognized for their work advocating for and empowering victims of sexual abuse. Our sex assault law firm is dedicated to survivors’ rights and has represented sex abuse survivors across the country in sexual assault lawsuits that have settled for over $1 million dollars.

If you or a loved one experienced sexual abuse on a cruise or yacht, contact the cruise ship and yacht sex abuse lawyers of Edwards Henderson Lehrman today for a free confidential case evaluation.

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