Following three hearings with cruise industry representatives, the International Cruise Victims (ICV) and federal agencies, Congress is working to develop standards for the investigation and response to crimes on cruise lines.  

The latest Congressional hearing (March 27, 2007) included testimony from Laurie Dishman, a Sacramento woman who survived a brutal rape aboard an international cruise line. At that hearing, Congress gave CLIA six months to work with ICV in developing a proposal for consideration, at which time another Congressional hearing will be held to determine what progress has been made.

Dishman followed the congressional testimony with an appearance at CALCASA’s Denim Day, where she noted: “We have so much work to do, here in California and Nationally, but I know now that we are not alone.”

Congressman Christopher Shays (R-CT) offered support: “I am working on a bipartisan legislative proposal to improve disclosure on crimes on cruise ships in order to increase the transparency of the industry…Passengers have the right to know the safety records of the vessels they board.” 

Following numerous high-profile reports (including Dishman's), ICV concludes that current onboard cruise line security management appears to lack adequate passenger and crew safety training, especially in response to reports of incidents.

ICV and other victims groups will be continuing to urge cruise lines to develop the resources, staff capacity and company investment in responding to crimes aboard cruise ships.