Ian Mackay, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, said realtors should be on the alert after a realtor from Duncan and more than two dozen on the mainland reported being sexually harassed by phone and text. (File photo)

Ian Mackay, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, said realtors should be on the alert after a realtor from Duncan and more than two dozen on the mainland reported being sexually harassed by phone and text. (File photo)

Vancouver Island realtor sexually harassed on phone, texts

Island woman among dozens of realtors in B.C. being targeted by similar behaviour

A realtor in Duncan is one of more than two dozen realtors in B.C. who are being victimized with texts and phone calls that are sexual in nature.

All the realtors are women, with most living in the Lower Mainland.

The Duncan realtor is remaining anonymous for safety reasons, but Vancouver Island Real Estate Board president Ian Mackay said she informed the board and the RCMP of the ongoing harassment last week.

Mackay said that, in his experience, this type of harassment is “quite unusual”, but in the age of instant and easy communications, it’s not just members of the real estate industry that are experiencing such abuse.

RELATED STORY: MAN ACCUSED OF CYBERBULLYING LATE AMANDA TODD WILL SOON FACE CHARGES

“It’s easy for any nut to get on a phone or some other device and reach out to whoever they want,” he said.“But it tends to be easier to connect realtors as they publish all of their contact information as part of their careers.

“We have had no other reports like this from any other realtor on Vancouver Island up to this point, but if any realtors find they are being similarly harassed, they should immediately get in touch with the police and, hopefully, they will find out who is responsible.”

Mackay said it’s disconcerting that the harassment of the realtors is occurring so close to the anniversary of the death of 24-year-old realtor Lindsay Buziak, who was stabbed and killed on Feb. 2, 2008, while showing an empty home in Saanich. The case has not yet been solved.

RELATED STORY: NEW TECHNOLOGY ALLOWING POLICETO FOLLOW LEADS IN BUSIAK MURDER

“Like all things, time erodes memory and many realtors have let their guards down since then,” Mackay said.

“We remind realtors that they should always be hyper vigilant and don’t ever put themselves at risk.”

Mackay said VIREB and other realtor agencies have protocols for realtors to protect themselves, which includes a list of “best practices” that encourages them to record who they are seeing during an appointment, when and where they are meeting, and when they plan to return.

He said realtors also have access to an alert system on an app that can just be touched when the realtor find themselves in uncomfortable or threatening situations, and help will be quickly on the way.

Mackay said there is also a “chivalry program” where male realtors will escort female realtors on a house showing if they feel uncomfortable.

“The security of our realtors is in the forefront of our minds,” Mackay said. “We encourage them to never put themselves in any kind of danger.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Most Read