Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Cases Reportedly on the Rise

The Federal Bureau of Investigation fielded more complaints of serious crimes on cruise ships during the three-month period between July and September than at any other time in the last three years, according to a new report.

The crime spree included 35 sexual assaults, five thefts of at least $10,000 in cash and goods, and two disappearances.

That’s a 35 percent increase in sex assaults from the previous quarter, and a 67 percent increase from the same time period in 2018, according to the New York Post.

The data came from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Cruise Line Incident Report. A dozen cruise lines were monitored by the FBI; six suffered the crime wave, and six had no serious crimes.

Cruise lines are mandated by the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act to report alleged homicides, suspicious deaths, missing persons, assaults with serious injuries, theft over $10,000, and incidents of people tampering with the ship.

The 40+ incidents during the three-month monitoring period still represent a fraction of the number of people who travel on cruise ships. Last year, for instance, 14.2 million North Americans took a cruise, a 9% increase from 2017 according to Cruise Lines International Association. That’s 3.55 million passengers every three months; thus, the crimes were committed by less than 1% of passengers.

Royal Caribbean was one of the few cruise lines to respond to the report, releasing a statement that noted “the safety and security of our guests is our top priority, and we take every allegation of wrongdoing seriously,” adding that it offers “extensive security” and sexual-assault-victims-assistance training for employees, in addition to counseling for “guests or crew in need of support.”

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