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Know the Laws: Wisconsin

UPDATED April 11, 2016

Domestic Abuse Restraining Orders

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A domestic abuse restraining order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a household or family member.

Basic information

back to topWhat are domestic abuse restraining orders?

A domestic abuse restraining order, also called an injunction, is a paper which is signed by a judge and tells an abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both women and men victims.

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Wisconsin?

Domestic abuse in Wisconsin includes the following:

Note: Harassing or stalking behavior is also covered under a different type of restraining order called a harassment restraining order.

* Wis. Stat. § 813.12(am)

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back to topHow can a restraining order help me?

A domestic abuse restraining order may:

  • Order the abuser to refrain from (stop) committing acts of domestic abuse against you;
  • Order the abuser to stay away from your residence, or any other location you are temporarily occupying, or both;
  • Order the abuser to avoid contacting you directly or through a third party, with the exception of the abuser's attorney and any law enforcement officer;
  • Order the abuser to hand over any firearms in his possession to the authorities and forbid him from buying firearms;
  • Grant other relief that you ask for, if the court finds the relief is necessary for your protection.*

Note: When the final domestic violence restraining order, or final injunction, is granted, the abuser must hand over any firearms in his possession and will be forbidden from buying any firearms.**  However, if the abuser is a police officer, or has to use a firearm for work, the court may not require him/her to surrender it.***  For more information, see Wisconsin Gun Laws.

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

* Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)
** Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4m)(a)2.
*** Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4m)(ag)

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