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Know the Laws: Wisconsin

UPDATED September 1, 2016

Domestic Abuse Injunctions

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

Basic information

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

Domestic abuse in Wisconsin includes the following:

  • intentionally causing physical pain, physical injury or illness;
  • intentionally harming your physical condition;
  • sexual assault;
  • stalking;
  • destruction of property belonging to you; and
  • threatening to do any of the above acts.*

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

* Wis. Stat. § 813.12(1)(am)

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back to topHow can a domestic abuse injunction help me?

A temporary restraining order may:

  • order the abuser to 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. Note: If you and the abuser are unmarried and the abuser owns the home where you are both living (and you do not have any legal interest in that property), the judge may order the abuser to stay away from the property until you have a chance to move;
  • 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 not to remove, hide, damage, harm, mistreat, or dispose of, a household pet;
  • order the abuser to allow you or your family member or household member acting on your behalf to retrieve (get) a household pet; and
  • grant other relief that you request, if the judge finds the relief is necessary for your protection.*

A final domestic abuse injunction may:

  • include all of the protections available through a temporary restraining order, listed above;
  • order the abuser to hand over any firearms in his/her possession to the authorities and forbid him/her from buying firearms (unless the abuser is a peace officer and is required to possess a gun as a condition of his/her job); and
  • order a wireless telephone provider to transfer the right to use your telephone number to you and transfer your account to you.**

Note: For more information about federal and state gun laws and exceptions, see our WI State Gun Laws page and our Federal Gun Laws page.

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

* Wis. Stat. § 813.12(3)(a),(3)(am)
** Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(a),(am),(4g),(4m)(a)(2),(ag)

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