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)

Duncan realtor sexually harassed on phone, texts

Victim among dozens of realtors in B.C.

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 IN B.C. COURT

“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 SAANICH POLICE, FBI, RCMP TO FOLLOW LEADS IN LINDSAY BUSIAK’S 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.”



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 Cowichan Capitals traded defenceman Clark Webster to his hometown Summerside Western Capitals. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Hopeful Cowichan Capitals make flurry of deadline deals

Roster bolstered in case BCHL season gets go-ahead

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Duncan initiates pilot project to deal with graffiti

Project based on a successful one in Port Alberni

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

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

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

Most Read