Interviewee: Patricia Weel
IWY SC 695
Interviewer: Elaine Paul
Date: June 1977
Patricia Weel worked with the rape crisis center People Against Rape in Charleston and was particularly interested in the workshops on rape and domestic violence. At the time of the interview, she recently started working for the Women’s Advocacy Center in Charleston. Interview includes discussion of: Weel’s work as a counselor; her optimism about the long term impact of the conference; and the excited, expectant mood of the conference attendees.
Elaine Paul: Tell you your name please?
Patricia Weel: Patricia Wheel.
EP: Patricia Wheel. Will or wheel?
EP: Wheel. Can you tell me why you came?
PW: Why I came?
PW: I came to the conference for several reasons. I’m interested in what is going on in South Carolina for women and I’m also participating in a workshop tomorrow.
EP: Which one?
PW: “Rape and Battered Women”
EP: Have you been in the field just how long?
PW: I’ve been working with People Against Rape, which is a rape crisis center in Charleston, for approximately three years now and I’ve just recently been working for the Women’s Advocacy Center of Charleston, which is a new group which is working to help battered women.
EP: How did you get interested in that particular field?
PW: Well, I think a lot of things are a matter of coincidence. I was interested in the possibility of counseling as a job, as a position and I was unemployed at the time and I thought the best way to find out if I enjoyed counseling or if that was what I wanted to do was to do some volunteer work in it. And that was just when People Against Rape had just started and they put a notice in the paper that they were having their first counselor training session and I went and that’s where I got involved.
EP: You decided you were good at that?
PW: I liked it very much. I like the group. It’s a very supportive group to work with and I felt that we were accomplishing things. It was a dynamic group and I think that kind of thing really gets at one and you get involved when you’re working with a group of people like that.
EP: It is, in fact, that you aren’t getting your message across. It’s beginning to get accepted?
PW: Oh, yeah.
EP: It’s amazing how much people are changing their attitudes. But what I really need to know is: why did you come to the conference?
PW: Well, those…
EP: What did you expect to get out of it?
PW: My experience with conferences is that the best parts come in meeting people. Sharing ideas on an individual level as well as a larger level. But usually I get more from just the personal contacts, meeting people that are interested in the kinds of things I’m interested in, that are working in that area, are working and help other women.
EP: Do you feel optimistic about our results? Are you pleased with what’s been accomplished thus far?
PW: Yeah. I think it’s a varied and interesting conference, the way it’s set up. I don’t know yet how it will go as far as any concrete results or positive statements be made from the conference. I’m very optimistic that some strong statements will come.
EP: The mood. How do you feel about the mood of the delegates?
PW: I think there’s a lot of expectancy.
EP: I do, too. I’m glad to hear you say that. Well, I should be watching your workshop with interest tomorrow and I do thank you very much.
PW: You’re welcome.
End of interview