I’m sharing my friend’s story about an orthodontist who would grope and otherwise molest his patients. I will call my friend Matilda.
In the late 1970’s when she was a teenager she went to an orthodontist in Carmichael, CA named Dr. Atkinson. He had a busy practice on Fair Oaks Blvd., near Marshall.
Matilda remembered that he was a nice looking man who liked to talk a lot. His receptionists and assistants were friendly, except for one young woman. The unfriendly one wore heavy eye make-up, and had nasty looking long finger nails (assumed fake.) The waits in the waiting room were long – often over an hour.
Dr. Atkinson liked to talk about his airplane, and other expensive things he had. He also had five or six children, and a wife.
He also would molest and grope his female patients while he cheerfully talked.
Matilda said when she grew up, as a teen in the 1970’s that nobody would have believed her. Her parents were from a generation where a respected doctor would NEVER do anything like that. The words of teenage girls were not valued.
Parents were too busy worrying about teenage boys. It wasn’t the boys they needed to worry about. They should have worried about predatory adult MEN who preyed on children, teens, and young adults.
At the high school there were rumors about a couple of male teachers who took nude photos of female teachers. There were also rumors of at least one of the teachers having sex with star struck young female students. Nobody reported these men. Nobody would have listened to students.
But back to Dr. Atkinson….
Matilda compared notes with other girls at her high school who went to him. They all experienced the same thing.
This man would feel up, grope, and molest girls while they sat to have their braces tightened. He took advantage of them. He knew they wouldn’t talk. Their experiences would forever be unseen.
He took something from these girls. He took away their self-worth. He took away their sense of safety. He took away any sense of trust they might have had with adult men. He made them feel like they didn’t matter.
After forty years it still makes Matilda angry and uncomfortable.
If YOU were molested by Dr. Atkinson please share your story. I want this guy to be called out publicly for what he did. He is a pervert and what he did was WRONG.
He would be in his 80’s now (or late 70’s.) He might still be alive.
A dentist who had an office a few doors down said Atkinson had vanished without a trace. Nobody knew where he went.
I don’t care if he wife or kids read this. I want them to know that he was a bad man. I don’t care if he was a good father – he was a horrible person who took advantage of young girls who were afraid to speak up. These were young girls who did not know they could speak up. They had no voice.
For anyone else out there who is reading this: Tell your children, teens, and young adults in your life that NOBODY can grope, molest, touch, grab, poke, kiss, or do ANYTHING to your body without your consent. Tell the young people in your life to immediately REPORT anyone who does this to them. Let them know that YOU will believe them.
Matilda kept silent because she didn’t think anyone would listen. When she told the story to her family years later they acted as if she had said nothing. It was uncomfortable. Don’t be uncomfortable – be brave and take the side of your child, your young friend, your niece or nephew, your brother or sister. Take the side of the young person who has been hurt.
Don’t be silent. Come out of your comfort zone. Be there for young people who are prey to these monsters like the orthodontist Dr. Atkinson.