More female realtors on Vancouver Island have reported they have been, or are being, victimized with texts and phone calls that are sexual in nature.
A realtor from Nanaimo, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Citizen on Feb. 10 that she has been getting such phone calls and texts for three years, as have at least seven other realtors on the Island, in addition to the reports of approximately two dozen realtors on the Lower Mainland experiencing the same thing.
She said she has been in touch with the other victims on the Island, as well as some of the ones on the Lower Mainland, and they are sure it’s the same man who is responsible for the calls and texts.
The realtor said the man apparently has a type that he likes to single out and prey on.
“If you look at all our photos, we’re all about the same age and the majority of us are blonde,” she said.
“It’s a gross and disturbing game he seems to be playing, and he appears to be getting braver as the calls and texts to women realtors are escalating. I’ve made numerous police reports on the matter but there has been little action by the police, so I’m hoping they will begin to take it more seriously now that the problem seems to be getting worse.”
The Citizen reported earlier this week that the Duncan realtor was the only one on Vancouver Island that is known to have been harassed sexually by phone and/or text.
Vancouver Island Real Estate Board president Ian Mackay said at the time that the board was only aware of the harassment the Duncan realtor was experiencing last week after she reported the abuse, but he said he has asked his staff to investigate if more reports were filed after learning of the realtor from Nanaimo, and the others on the Island.
“We have no recent information, other than from [the Duncan realtor], so we’re going to look a little further back,” he said.
“I think it may be ramping up and people are beginning to come forward now that they know they are not alone in this. It’s seems to be a bigger problem than we thought and we believe the police are starting to look at the cases more closely. The VIREB encourages realtors to report to the police and the board if they are getting calls and texts like this.”
Mackay said he doesn’t know at this stage what course of action the board will take on the matter once its own investigation is complete, but the VIREB intends as a first step to republish the safety guidelines for realtors.
The safety guidelines include 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.