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

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Cumberland council is backing the business association again. File photo
Cumberland backs homeless veteran count

Briefs: Council continues support for business association

Courtenay Nissan’s Matthew Bourassa, Geoff Piper and Sean LaFleur join YANA’s Ashley Smith, Kelly Rusk and Lisa Wilcox for the 4x4x48 event to raise funds. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Courtenay Nissan eats and runs for YANA

Dealership realized non-profit groups need new ways to raise funds during COVID

Rev. Sulin Milne at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Comox is part of those helping distribute food to those in need within the town. Photo by Jim Peacock
Comox church serving the community with food through COVID-19

“We knew there were so many people who were facing economic challenges …”

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read