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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Georgia State: Feature on Dr. Laura Salazar and Monica Swahn’s Work in the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence

Professors Dr. Laura Salazar and Dr. Monica Swahn, faculty in the Georgia State University School of Public Health, were featured in the Georgia State University Research Magazine for their work in the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence at Georgia State University.

It’s a hot July evening and I’m at a party filled with strangers, watching as a troubling scene unfolds before my eyes. A woman sits on a living room couch, being plied with drinks by her male companion. When she tries to stand she sinks back unsteadily. A few moments later, I glance over and see the man leading her away. I turn around to hear several other partygoers discussing the situation. Should they intervene? If so, how? What about the friend who brought her here?

I can’t intervene myself, because I’m not really there. I’m wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset in the office of Dr. Laura Salazar, professor of health promotion and behavior in the School of Public Health. Dr. Salazar and her colleagues wrote the script for this brief film — called “Real Decisions” — as part of her ongoing research on the impact of interactive educational tools and their ability to stem violence. It’s a fully immersive 3D short produced with the help of Georgia State’s Creative Media Industries Institute as well as faculty and doctoral students with expertise in infectious diseases, neuroscience and behavioral science. In the VR film, the same scene plays out four different times, with four different endings. Each ending highlights one of the “four D’s” of effective bystander intervention: direct, distract, delegate or delay.

Read more of Drs. Laura Salazar and Monica Swahn’s feature in the Georgia State University Research Magazine.

Learn more about Dr. Laura Salazar.

Learn more about Dr. Monica Swahn.

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