This paper examines the case of a Papua New Guinean refugee to Australia. Her case, heard in early 2004, embodies a number of key themes in contemporary Pacific studies, namely, violence against women and the gendered nature of the state. In examining her case, I aim to provide preliminary insights into a little-explored dimension of these themes within the context of Papua New Guinea (PNG). I offer these preliminary thoughts not from a legal perspective, but rather from the perspective of an anthropologist whose views on law and order in PNG have been sought for the purposes of expert testimony. It is hoped that the presentation of this case will draw attention to the ongoing problem of gender violence in PNG.