There's a saying in life...choose your cause before it chooses you. This is the sad state those of us working with ICV must accept - our cause has chosen us. Each of us who have sought out this organization did so because of the pain, loss or sorrow we were feeling.
While we learn to accept our painful losses, we are compelled to do something significant and meaningful in the names of our loved ones - and in hopes that no one else will have to feel or experience what we have. Since 2005, ICV has been working diligently toward those goals; we have done much to ensure that substantial attention is drawn to the cavalier attitudes of the cruise lines toward assault, injury, disappearance and even death of their passengers. We are determined to end their Teflon-like approach to accountability which results in less personal safety and security, and reduces their response to criminal events to nothing more than bureaucratic shuffling and finger pointing.
While ICV was formed out of tears, anger and frustration, we have definitely done more than merely react. In just over five short years, we have become the recognized international voice around the world for victims of cruise line crime.
We're proud of our accomplishments and initiatives to date:
- In December of 2005, several families testified before Congress during a hearing held in the House of Representatives regarding the impact of cruise line crime on their families. This was the beginning of International Cruise Victims, and over the next two years ICV went on to testify at 4 additional hearings before Congress.
- In 2006, ICV introduced a 10-Point Plan for improved safety and security aboard cruise ships. This resulted in the U.S. Congress mandating meetings with representatives of the cruise line industry and victims of cruise ship crime.
- Most importantly, The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, was passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama. The goal of this bill was to require both the cruise lines and law enforcement agencies to do more to ensure the safety and responsibility for security of cruise line passengers and crew.
- ICV has held several high-level, strategic meetings with the FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, and Department of Justice regarding the enforcement of policies pertaining to the new law to protect Americans traveling on cruise vessels.
- We have established policies and protocols necessary to initiate similar legislation for the protection of all passengers worldwide. In fact the European Victims Agency announced this summer it will be using the ICV template to enact similar protections for passengers on European ships.
- We shared our message through a series of speaking engagements to both educate and advocate for victims of cruise ship crime. We publish online and via social media and track incidents and reports of such crime and the investigation.
International Cruise Victims has made many important strides forward, yet the stories continue to surface regarding assaults, overboard incidents and too much more. To add to the horror of these terrible events, too often there is no formal, recognized investigation, and so often NO ACTION IS TAKEN AFTER A CRIMINAL INCIDENT!
The frequency and number of these incidents is known only to the cruise line industry, even as the number of complaints continues to rise. Without ICV, there would be no organized awareness empowering passenger's right to ensure their own safety, security and protection.
Your attention, efforts and generosity have greatly contributed to the successes we have achieved; it has been a labor of love and loss. We are now poised to take the next steps to continue our vital work. We're ready to move forward, but we need your help.
Your gifts will:
- Increase awareness and safety for cruise travelers, brought about by website upgrades with resources and guidance, printed brochures, media ads, public presentations, industry press relations.
- Help our efforts in the worldwide cruise line safety arena move forward, and grow to include all passengers.
- Assure our seat at the table as new regulations and legislative updates for cruise lines are developed and implemented.
- Provide a voice in the creation of basic safety and security standards for passengers and crew aboard all cruise ships.
In honor and memory of those we have lost, those who have had to experience something so tragic instead of the trip of a lifetime they planned, and for the unimaginable pain and loss of those who receive no answers and no justice, please give generously to ICV. Your donation can be made by check or credit card, and may be tax deductable.
Please know that every gift is meaningful and important and that we are grateful for your time and your caring. We extend to you our most sincere thank you.