Another Victoria real estate agent has been accused of sexual assault and coercion in allegations made on social media Friday.
On Saturday, the accused individual’s webpage and social media accounts had been taken down and Engel and Volkers Vancouver Island, which the person had been working under, said it had cut all ties with them.
This is the third real estate agent associated with Engel and Volkers, and fourth overall, to have been accused of sexual assault in the last week. The two others fired were employed at The Agency when the allegations arose against them Wednesday, but were working under Engel and Volkers when the alleged assault occurred.
“We support those who have come forward to report sexual harassment and abuse and will do our utmost to eliminate this abhorrent behaviour,” Engel and Volkers owner Scott Piercy said in a statement. The company has arranged sexual harassment counselling, trauma support and sensitivity training for its entire team.
The agents who were employed at The Agency have been fired. In a statement made to its Instagram Thursday, the luxury real estate company said it was shocked and disturbed by the allegations.
“We stand in full support of women who have endured sexual abuse and we encourage anyone with information to please come forward,” it wrote.
On the same day, Victoria pub The Local said it had also become aware of allegations against one of its minority partners and had severed ties with them.
The allegations, which surfaced on social media, are part of a growing number calling out individuals in Victoria.
In the past two months, Chuck’s Burger Bar and E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar have both fired employees following allegations made online. Chuck’s Burger Bar later closed permanently.
Social media pages can serve as a safe place for sexual assault survivors to share their stories, said Janni Aragon, gender studies and political science professor at the University of Victoria, speaking with Black Press Media in February. They can also help survivors to understand they aren’t alone.
Victoria police are investigating allegations against the former Chuck’s Burger Bar employee, and have said they are aware of the others. No allegations have been proven in court.
Anyone who wishes to report an incident or has information about an incident can call the Victoria Police Department’s report desk at 250-995-7654 ext. 1.
The Victoria Sexual Assault Centre offers counselling, victim services and a sexual assault response team. The centre can be reached 24/7 at 250-383-3232.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to address the fact that allegations have arisen against four real estate agents. Three of those have been fired.
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