The number of conflicts fought between and within countries has risen since World War II. One consequence of conflict is increasing violence, especially violence against women. As Sorenson (1997:26) suggests, ‘organised violence may be linked to increases in domestic violence, and women may experience an escalation of violence as a result of conflict’. It is, therefore, an important topic of investigation because violence against women is not only a social issue, in health and human rights terms, but also a development issue. This paper examines these issues, using Bougainville as an example of a society that has experienced conflict and where violence against women is prevalent. Key issues will be discussed in the context of the wider Pacific region.