Any organization or corporation can say it is serious, scrupulous and conscientious about preventing or responding to sexual assault prevention. Talk, as they say, is cheap.
In Royal Caribbean’s case, the proof is in the certification.
This year, when the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S. compiled best-practice guidelines for businesses, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) was the first corporation certified for compliance with the new standards.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of our guests and crew,” RCL Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain says of the distinction awarded by the Washington, D.C.-based Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN. “We set high standards for ourselves – and on the most important subjects, we look to experts for guidance.
“RAINN’s evaluation was complete and thorough, and we take pride in reaching the standards they set for certification.”
Named by Worth magazine as one of “America’s 100 Best Charities,” RAINN uses corporate sponsorships and entertainment industry relationships to educate the public, as well as the private sector, about prevention of rape and other sexual violence.
It created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline – (800) 656-HOPE and online.rainn.org – in concert with more than 1,000 sexual assault service providers across the U.S.
RAINN also maintains and publicizes the DoD Safe Helpline for the U.S. Department of Defense. It counts more than two million people assisted by the confidential hotlines since 1994.
Its outreach efforts to communities, college campuses and entertainment venues educate an estimated 120 million Americans each year about sexual assault, and it spearheads national efforts to improve victim services and ensure prosecution of offenders.
RAINN’s stamp of approval for RCL followed a highly detailed inspection and analysis of onboard plans and practices by Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
Examiners covered 10 key areas for compliance, including general prevention efforts; victim care and mental health services; medical service and supply; training of general crew, medical and security staff; hiring guidelines; physical ship security; and prospective passenger screening.
In addition to reviewing RCL’s written plans and policies, RAINN inspectors also conducted onboard staff interviews with the three brands.
RAINN auditors spent about four months reviewing more than 2,000 pages of RCL policies, protocols and staff training materials for sexual assault prevention and response.
Onsite inspections and audits included RCL headquarters and ships, and some 200 onboard interviews were conducted with crew members to ensure their full understanding and implementation of RCL policies.
The work was completed this summer, and compliance certification will remain in effect until summer 2017, when RAINN will re-examine RCL’s operations to ensure continued compliance.