En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Wisconsin

UPDATED October 26, 2012

Domestic Abuse Restraining Orders

Print this page
View All

A domestic abuse restraining order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by an adult 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.

Did you find this information helpful?

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

Domestic abuse in WI includes the following:

  • intentionally causing physical pain, physical injury or illness;
  • intentionally harming someone;
  • sexual assault;
  • property destruction; and
  • threatening to do any of the above acts. *
To read the exact wording of the law, please see the definitions section on the WI Statutes page.

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

* Wis. Stat. § 813.12(am)

Did you find this information helpful?

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)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top