When the official "investigation" over the disappearance of their daughter by a single policeman in the Bahamas went nowhere, and Disney Cruise Line left them with no explanation, the Coriam family turned to two organizations for help - Victim Support and the International Cruise Victims.
Ann and Michael Coriam will tell you that these two organizations have been there at every step for their family as they seek answers regarding what happened to their daughter Rebecca, a Disney youth counselor who disappeared from the Disney Wonder in March of this year.
Those of you who are regular readers of this blog are familiar with the International Cruise Victims ("ICV"), a U.S. non-profit organization founded by Ken Carver after his daughter mysteriously disappeared a cruise on the Celebrity Mercury. The ICV is responsible for creating awareness of dangers on cruise ships which the cruise industry would prefer the public not to know. Due to the ICV's hard work, last year President Obama passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act.
You may not be as familiar with Victim Support, a non-profit organization based in the United Kongdom which provides free and confidential help to victims of crime and their family across England and Wales. It also speaks out as a voice for victims and campaigns for change.
The hard work of Victim Support has been recognized of late, with the Daily Mirror in the UK publishing an article yesterday referring to the goals of this charitable organization. The article states:
"The charity has two major concerns: holidaymakers are twice as likely to suffer sexual assault when on a ship, and crimes are not investigated properly. Cruise firms want to protect their image and say almost all the missing people fell overboard. But others suspect a more sinister reason for the disappearances and the charity wants better investigations into previous cases, as well as more measures taken to stop them happening.
The charity’s chief executive, Javed Khan, said: “How crime on cruise ships is investigated and how victims are dealt with are a hidden scandal. Many victims are left without protection and little prospect of securing justice.”
Victim Support is now calling on the International Maritime Organization ("IMO") to take urgent action to improve the prevention and investigation of crimes on cruise ships.
You can read more about Victim Support's campaign to make cruising safer here.