Criminal Justice System:
An advocate can be present during interviews with law enforcement and the district attorney. We can explain what you can expect after an arrest and accompany you to court hearings. People accused of committing a crime have an abundance of rights which can make the criminal justice process seem slow and confusing. As a victim of a crime, you have rights too and an advocate can help you exercise those rights.
If you've been affected by domestic abuse, sexual assault or child abuse, an advocate can accompany you to family court proceedings and provide information about divorce, legal separation, custody/placement issues, child support and other family law related issues.
Restraining Orders: A restraining order, or injunction, is a court order that prohibits someone from contacting you and/or engaging in certain types of behaviors. There are two steps to get a restraining order in Wisconsin. The first step is to complete the necessary paperwork, write a statement about the abuse, and petition the court for a temporary order. The second step is to attend an injunction hearing where you may have to testify in court in front of the abuser and the Court Commissioner or Judge. While the forms to file a restraining order are available online, the process can be difficult to navigate on your own. You may wish to meet with an advocate or call the hotline anonymously to learn more about the process. An injunction cannot guarantee your safety so it is important to develop a Safety Plan with an advocate.
Please see Community Resources for more information about the legal system and phone numbers for local service providers.