The Dominican Republic, a popular Caribbean destination, has been hit by increased violent crime and sexual assaults, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue a travel advisory for Americans. The advisory, issued on Tuesday, urges travelers to "exercise increased caution" when visiting the country. The State Department has issued a yellow flag-level two advisory, citing concerns over violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault. The Department also noted that the wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on a broader scale. However, the State Department also noted that Americans who travel to resorts are likely safer, as these "tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo." Implementing a 911 emergency call system in many parts of the country and a tourist police force has also made top destinations safer for Americans traveling to the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola. [tweet_embed]June 08, 2023[/tweet_embed] The Dominican Republic shares Hispaniola with Haiti, which has seen some of the most dangerous and severe living conditions in the Western Hemisphere in recent years. Gang violence in Haiti has ramped up drastically as poverty and corruption have run unchecked following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. While the State Department has issued a Level 4 red-flag "Do not travel" advisory for Haiti, the Dominican Republic shares the same threat level alert as other top tourist destinations like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the Bahamas. The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism was not immediately available for comment. If Americans decide to visit the top Caribbean destination in the coming months, department officials have advised them to be aware of their surroundings and to not display signs of wealth by wearing expensive jewelry or watches. The department also warned against physically resisting any robbery attempts and following local safety guidelines.