Jasna Podreka is a researcher and Teacher Assistant at the Department of Sociology at Faculty of Arts,
University of Ljubljana.
She obtained her PhD in 2014, defending thesis on gender-based killings of women by male intimate partners. She was a member of the European Cooperation in Science & technology Action IS1206 Femicide across Europe for the period 2013-2017. Besides gender-based violence and femicide, her main research interests are discrimination and inequalities in fields of work, politics and personal life. She is a member of Slovene Sociological Association and is actively engaged in Association SOS Helpline for Women and Children who were victims of violence.
She is also a guest lecturer at educational panels on gender-based violence for police force, social workers and members of NGOs. She published various scientific articles on the topic of domestic violence, sexual violence and femicide. In 2017 she published a book on the topic of intimate partner homicides of women in Slovenia.
Femicide: the evolution of the definition and the meaninig of naming in the study of violent
deaths of women
Empirical findings shows that most of the murders and violent deaths of women are the result of some form of gender-based violence. The purpose of this paper is to present the development of the definition and discussion on justification to introduce the term femicide for naming the gender-marked violent deaths of women. Through the important findings from numerous studies at home and abroad, the author will show that there are significant gender differences in the murder and violent deaths of women and the differences between femicide and homicide.
The author will demonstrate the importance of naming women's violent deaths through empirical research on intimate partner homicides in Slovenia, in which she analysed 24 cases of intimate partner homicides that occurred in Slovenia from 2000 to 2011 through in-depth qualitative contextual analysis of personal court records and retrospective analysis of media publications for news about intimate partner homicides that occurred in Slovenia in the last two years (2019 and 2020). Although the offense of murder and manslaughter of women or as we name it here femicide in Slovenian crime statistics represents a small proportion of violent crimes, the author argue that they certainly need special attention, because the crime of homicide is one of the most serious crimes known to humanity. According to statistical data and current events in Slovenia, intimate partner femicide is an urgent issue. Statistical data indicates that between 2000 and 2020 almost half of murders and attempted murders of women (43%) were committed by male individuals who were listed as »former spouse or intimate partner«, »intimate partner« and »spouse«. Data about male victims is completely different. It shows that men are, in most cases, murdered by individuals listed in categories »no relationship« (30.84%) and »acquaintance« (23.38%). Individuals listed as »former spouse or intimate partner«, »intimate partner« and »spouse« were perpetrators in 7.05 percent.
Based on the analysed cases the author demonstrates that femicides in Slovenia are distinctly gendered criminal offences and that Slovenia does not differ significantly in this respect from other countries. In analysing the main characteristics of femicides in Slovenia, the author shows that femicides of intimate partners are an extreme manifestation of male power and control over women and should be understood in the larger context of unequal power relations between women and men in society. Intimate partner femicides are not the acts of otherwise non-violent men, rather in most cases, are deliberate acts, characterized by a long period of violence and abuse against murdered partners. Men murder or attempt to murder their partners after a long period of prior »intimate terrorism«, manifested as psychological and physical violence along with other forms of abuse and exploitation. The analysis also shows that the basis of these acts are strong traditional or patriarchal attitudes of perpetrators on partner relationships and gender roles and especially male feelings of the ownership of their female partners.