Staying Safe While Cruising Abroad
Stepping foot onto an international cruise liner is exciting! We want your days on board with family and friends to be enjoyable. Before you throw caution to the wind though, please consider the following scenarios to better understand the tactics a perpetrator may use on a cruise:
You and your best friend Amy are in the dining room of a cruise ship in the Caribbean… You have befriended a group of people at the table over. After chatting and drinking with the group, your friend Amy wants to call it a night. You tell her you aren’t tired yet and will be back to the room in an hour or so. After making a playful bet on how late the gift shop is open, you and a man from the group decide to walk over to find out. On the way there, the man pushes you into a cleaning closet and sexually assaults you.
You are traveling with your family on a cruise ship. You are feeling slightly under the weather and decide to stay in the cabin… while everyone else goes up to the pool. After a few minutes you hear a knock at the door and go to open it. It is a crew member informing you that the pipes in the bathroom need to be looked at as it may eventually cause problems if it isn’t fixed right now. Not wanting to deal with the headache of a clogged or overflowing toilet you let him in your room. He quickly attacks and sexually assaults you.
You are on cruise ship with your wife and children in the Mediterranean. Your family is at a concert on the ship and you decide you would prefer to take a walk… As you walk down the ship corridor, you are hit on the back of the head. When you come to, you realize that your wallet is missing and you have been sexually assaulted.
What is common in each of these scenarios?
- The perpetrator was skillful at getting you to let your guard down, or the situation became comfortable and you let your guard down
- The perpetrator separated you, or waited until you were separated from your traveling companions
- The perpetrator may have built trust with you.
Some Important Things To Consider:
- Remember- it’s not your fault.
- Are you in a safe place? Call or find a family member or friend that is on board the ship to come and get you.
- Do you need medical attention? Is there a nurse or doctor aboard that can administer appropriate medical care?
- Is it safe to report the assault to the police? Depending on where the cruise ship has been registered, you may have to abide by different reporting procedures.
- Do you want to report to the U.S. Embassy?
Important First Steps:
- If you are not safe, try and get a safe person on the ship to come and get you.
- Do self-collection of evidence. Put all of the clothes you were wearing, bed sheets, and so on in a paper bag.
- If there is semen present, collect what you can in a cruise ship glass or cup and put it in the paper bag.
- If you have any injuries, take pictures immediately.
Contact our crisis center to speak with a SASHAA advocate from the business center on the cruise ship. Advocates are available 24/7. They can help you through the ordeal, honoring your decisions. All calls and emails are free and confidential.