A beauty therapist employed by Royal Caribbean reports that she was raped by another crew member, according to the Times Live newspaper in South Africa.
The crew member, who is known by her first name, "Taryn," states that she was forced to leave the cruise industry after her ordeal aboard a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean International.
The newspaper indicates that she was raped by a fellow South African, a fitness instructor, and sent home after reporting the incident.
"I believe they sent me home to hide the case and protect their reputation - they didn't care about my wellbeing . . . the easy part was to get over the physical rape, the hard part was, and still is, trying to convince myself that I did the right thing by reporting the incident, despite being made to feel like I was in the wrong, despite still feeling like no justice was done and despite having no one but my family and friends to support me emotionally."
After she reported the matter, the cruise captain told her: "There are two stories, his and yours, but his sounds more believable, because you had been drinking."
She said she was advised to drop the matter or face an FBI investigation. After she decided to drop the matter, "I was given two hours to pack my bags and say goodbye."
Her case is being handled by another maritime lawyer in Miami who states that " . . . some crew members, especially the captains and other senior officials, have been blackmailing female cadets and crew members to have sex with them or face a miserable life at sea."
The report of the rape is made on the eve of President Obama signing the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act which will require cruise lines to finally report all crimes which occur on cruise ships in international waters.
We have reported many times about the high rate of rapes on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. In 2006, Royal Caribbean hired a former high ranking FBI official, Gary Bald, to head up what the cruise line now calls its "Global Security Department." The question is whether Mr. Bald and his new team of ex-FBI agents are genuinely trying to protect the passengers and crew and help build a case against the rapists which have targeted Royal Caribbean passengers and crew members.
Or is this business as usual, with the cruise line intimidating the victim and the cruise line taking the rapist's side of the story?
You will many similar stories like this coming from a cruise line like Royal Caribbean.
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