Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paradise Protected...vacation safety tips

Are your bags packed? Are you headed home, abroad, to visit friends, start an internship or a job? Before you go, please take ten minutes and add one more thing to your to do list. Before you head out to blaze new trails get educated in advance about emergency and support services in case you or someone you know needs them. Seems simple but too often we don’t think about these things until we are in crisis mode.

So before you go, program all local or campus emergency numbers in your phone (if you need help locating these e-mail us at Have candid discussions with your new roommate, classmate, colleague, etc. about supporting one another, respecting your individual choices and keeping each other safe. Always use a DSP (designated sober person) and remember that we are all connected so if you see something that your intuition tells you is not kosher, safely intervene.

While sexual assault and violent crimes are never the victim's fault they are often times preventable. As bystander's (community members) it is our responsibility to help reduce these horrible acts by being aware, getting involved and helping to create a culture with zero tolerance for violence.

Our friend and fellow empowered sister, Laurie Dishman, Senior Vice President for International Cruise Victims was kind enough to take time to give us the scoop on cruise ship safety, so if you plan to cruise this summer please read this first.

An Interview with Laurie Dishman…

What numbers and contact information should I have on hand before traveling abroad or on a cruise? 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline and 1-202-324-3000 FBI.

What safety measure can I take in advance to plan for a safe trip?  
First, read all materials in regards to your trip especially the ticket book you get when taking a cruise… check out information about percentage of crimes in that location, but if going on a cruise you will not find that information under any cruise line website so visit: and

What can I do if I feel that I’m not getting the services I need/ deserve?
If at any time you are feeling that you are not getting the services that you need or deserve that is a good time to use the numbers that I shared earlier. When traveling abroad and especially on a cruise ship you are under different countries laws and therefore you have to look out for yourself.

Who should I report a crime to and how?
When on a cruise ship you should immediately report the crime to the FBI even if it is by email. You can also reach out to RAINN hotline by phone 1-800-656-HOPE or online click on online hotline. After reaching out to them then you can report the crime to the ship’s captain. If you are abroad and a crime occurs you can also contact the U.S. Embassy in the country you are in.

For more cruise safety tips click here.

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