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Witnessing violence on campus is the topic of Oct. 3 Science Cafe

If you had the chance to save someone from ridicule, humiliation and violence, would you do it? We would all like to think that we would jump at the chance to be a hero by rescuing others from danger, however; when the chance presents itself we often turn our heads and look the other way.

Christine Gidycz, Ohio University professor of psychology, will discuss this idea and many more when she hosts a Science Café discussion titled, "Bystander Behavior and Violence on College Campuses," at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Baker University Center Front Room.

"We tend to think that people are more likely to help when there are groups of people around," Gidycz says. "In fact, it's the opposite that occurs. When there's a large group, people are less likely to intervene."

Sexual violence has been a main research area for Gidycz, along with the way bystanders tend to react when witnessing inappropriate behavior. One of the most prevalent settings for sexual assault is on college campuses.

"Sexual violence is a major problem on just about all college campuses, including Ohio University," Gidycz says. "But there are strategies and behaviors that students can engage in to be part of the solution to this problem."

Science Cafés are a venue for students interested in the sciences and engineering to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty, staff and the community in a friendly setting.