Personal profile


Jana joined Northumbria University in September 2022 as a Lecturer in Criminology. Before that, she was a Lecturer in Criminology at Kingston University as a module lead for a level 6 criminology module that explored case studies, concepts and debates focusing on sexual offences and violent crimes, drawing on critical criminology, alongside gender, sexuality, and socio-legal studies. At the same time, she was also a Research Assistant in Criminology at the University of Hull, providing research support on the AREDAA study (‘Audio recording-enabled domestic abuse alarms (AREDAA) to reduce DVPN violation: A feasibility study and process evaluation’), gathering literature review on DVPNs and DVPOs, liaising with the police and interviewing victims in the Humberside region.

She was awarded a PhD in Criminology in March 2022 and her thesis was titled: Marital Rape in Croatia: Law, Economic Precarity and the Politics of Professional Judgment. She has taught sociology and criminology undergraduate modules (2019-2021) at the Department of Sociology, University of Essex. She holds two Master’s Degrees: one in Gender Studies from Central European University and the other in Sociology from the University of Zagreb. Her BA was in Philosophy and Sociology. Jana is a long-term member of various grassroots feminist, anti-fascist and LGBTIQ movements in the ex-Yugoslav region.

Research interests

Jana's doctoral project explored the socio-legal structures and power dynamics that affect the perception, prosecution, and penalisation of marital rape in Croatia. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of professional actors – including lawyers, judges, prosecutors, social workers, coordinators of feminist NGOs, women’s shelters’ workers, psychologists, journalists, and academics – and the first-hand observation of a rape trial, her thesis developed new insights into the legal, political and social implications of marital rape in a post-conflict, post-socialist context. 

She has presented her research at more than a dozen local and international conferences. She is currently developing publications exploring the specific broader aspect of the state's responses to domestic and sexual violence. This includes problematising carceral responses and feminist carceral activism; mapping the devastation of the social welfare system following the privatisation process in Croatia and the increasing demands on the CSO and SWC to prevent domestic violence; and the erosion of the progressive socialist legacy of community responses and solidarity in former Yugoslavia.

Her research interests also include gender-based violence, the political economy of violence, mainstream feminist activism against sexual violence, decolonial feminism, anti-carceral feminism, and queer Marxism.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Criminology, PhD, Marital Rape in Croatia: Law, Economic Precarity and The Politics of Professional Judgment, University of Essex

1 Oct 20171 Oct 2021

Award Date: 23 Mar 2022

Women's Studies, MA, Wartime sexual violence in Croatia: shifts in the public discourse, Central European University

20 Sept 201320 Jun 2014

Award Date: 20 Jun 2014

Sociology, MA, Seksualno nasilje u ratu (Wartime sexual violence), University of Zagreb

20 Sept 201120 Jul 2013

Award Date: 26 Jul 2013

Philosophy, BA, Gender based violence, University of Zagreb

20 Sept 200820 Sept 2011

Award Date: 20 Jul 2011

External positions

Kingston University

10 Jan 202215 Apr 2022

University of Hull

7 Jan 202215 Apr 2022

University of Essex

17 Oct 201920 Apr 2021


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