Legal Help

The family and criminal court systems can be overwhelming. DAIS is here to help. DAIS legal advocates can help you with restraining orders, accompany you to court, and help answer your legal-related questions.

The information below describes the legal services we provide. If you need to speak with a legal advocate, please call our 24-Hour Help Line at 608-251-4445 or email .


The DAIS Legal Program provides support, information, advocacy and court accompaniment to people who are experiencing intimate partner violence or stalking. DAIS legal services include assistance with restraining orders, family law, criminal law, immigration and other legal matters.

Legal advocates work with people by phone, in individual meetings, in court, and assist victims with safety planning, information, and referrals to community partners.

Legal advocates also provide information and referrals to victims of other types of abuse and concerned community members. Legal advocates are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice.

Contacting the Legal Program

To reach the DAIS Legal Program, call the 24-Hour DAIS Help Line at 608-251-4445. A crisis line advocate can offer support, resources, and general legal information, and can connect you to the legal advocate voice mail.  Please leave a detailed message, including a safe phone number, and a legal advocate will return your call between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

If you live outside of Dane County, you can call 1-800-799-SAFE to be connected with a program near you.

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Restraining Order Assistance

DAIS legal advocates can help you file for a restraining order, plan for your safety, prepare for the final injunction hearing (for a long-term restraining order), provide support during the hearing, and offer advocacy in the civil court system.

There is more than one type of restraining order.  The Restraining Order Grid explains differences between Domestic Abuse and Harassment Restraining Orders, including the protections they offer and who is eligible. Restraining orders also exist for child abuse and individuals at risk.  A legal advocate can provide information about these restraining orders.

A restraining order cannot guarantee your safety.  Developing a safety plan is an important part of the restraining order process.

How to Get a Restraining Order

Please click on the following links to learn more about what to expect when you file for a restraining order.  Getting a restraining order is a two-part process.  First, a temporary restraining order (TRO) is granted.  Then, if the person requesting a restraining order wants a longer-term restraining order (injunction), s/he must come back to court for a hearing in front of a judge.

Facts about temporary restraining orders & injunctions
Facts about injunction hearings
Steps to getting a restraining order

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Other Legal Help

Family Law Information

Legal advocates provide support and basic information about divorce, legal separation, child custody and placement, paternity, child support, and other family law issues to people who have been abused by an intimate partner. A legal advocate may be able to accompany you to court for a family law-related hearing.

Criminal Justice System Support

DAIS legal advocates provide information about the criminal justice process, including information about arrest, prosecution of the offender, the probation and parole system, and Wisconsin’s Crime Victim Compensation Program.

If you have been arrested for a crime related to abuse by your intimate partner, a legal advocate may be able to provide support for you in the criminal justice system.

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Useful Web Sites

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