Dating and Domestic Violence

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    Domestic Violence Laws

Laws Regarding Domestic Violence

Wisconsin Statute 813.12 (Paraphrased)

Domestic abuse means any of the following engaged or threatened to be engaged in by an adult against another adult living with or in a dating relationship with the person.

  1. Intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness.
  2. Intentional impairment of physical condition.
  3. First, Second or Third Degree Sexual Assault
  4. Whoever intentionally causes damage to any physical property of another without the person's consent.

What do I do if I have been a victim of domestic violence?

  1. Call 911 to report the incident immediately to the police. Or direct dial UW-Stout Police (232-2222) or Menomonie Police (232-1283).
  2. Make a Safety Plan.
  3. Tell someone close to you for support and/or help.
  4. You could file a restraining order.

    Warning Signs of Domestic Violence

Warning Signs Your Relationship May Become Violent

  1. A push for a quick involvement: Comes on very strong. An Abuser pressures a person for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.
  2. Jealousy: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly: prevents you from going to work because "you might meet someone;" checks the mileage on your car.
  3. Controlling: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you're late) about whom you talked to, and where you were; keeps all the money.
  4. Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect person and meet his/her every need.
  5. Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble."
  6. Blames others for problems and mistakes: The boss, it's always someone else's fault if anything goes wrong.
  7. Makes everyone else responsible for his/her feelings: The abuser says, "You make me angry instead of, "I am angry' or, "You're hurting me by not doing what I tell you."
  8. Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming that his/her feelings are hurt when he/she is really mad.
  9. Cruelty to animals and to children: Kills or punishes animals brutally.
  10. "Playful" use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex.
  11. Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes you, or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things; degrades, curses, calls you ugly names
  12. Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweetly loving to explosively violent in a matter of minutes or even more confusing, within seconds.
  13. Past battering: Admits hitting women/men in the past, but says they made him/her do it or the situation brought in on.
  14. Threats of violence: Makes statements like, "I'll break your neck," or "I'll kill you" and then dismisses them with, "Everybody talks that way," or "I didn't really mean it." If he/she has come this far, it is time to get help and get out!

(Adapted from Signs to Look for in a Battering Personality, from the Project for Victims of Family Violence. Fayetteville. Ark.)

Characteristics of Safe and Healthy Relationships

Love is Respect

Relationships can be healthy, unhealthy, abusive or somewhere in between. Explore the web site Love is Respect to learn what dating looks like, ways to respect your partner's needs and how to communicate effectively.


  • Decisions are made jointly, with input from each partner
  • Responsibilities are shared by each partner


  • Freedom to decide issues of work, school and money
  • Neither partner restricts the other to gender roles

Emotional Honesty

  • Each partner feels safe admitting and sharing feelings of fear and insecurity
  • Each partner accepts responsibility for their own feelings while recognizing the validity of the other's feelings

Sexual Respect

  • Each partner respects the other's sexual values
  • Each partner honors the other's right to determine the course of their sexuality
  • Each partner accepts "no" and does not enforce sexual demands

Physical Safety

  • Each partner respects the physical space of the other
  • Physical force is never used to subordinate one to the other's will
  • Physical force is never used as a form of punishment

Support and Trust

  • Each partner listens and attempts to understand the other
  • Each partner's opinion is valued


  • Each partner respects the right to differing feelings, friends and activities
  • Each supports the other partner's goals

Emotional Abuse

What is emotional abuse?

Although much information has been written and discussed about physical and sexual abuse as well as domestic violence, less information is available regarding emotional abuse. At this point, there is no universally accepted definition of emotional/verbal abuse. Similar to other forms of relationship abuse, emotional and/or verbal abuse is based on power and control. It is commonly referred to as a pattern of behavior that can seriously interfere with one's positive emotional development and over time, can lead to significant detriment to one's self-esteem and emotional well-being. It has been further described as an ongoing emotional environment organized by the abuser for the purposes of control. The underlying factor in the dynamic of emotional abuse is the abuser's low regard for him/her self. As the abuser may fear not being "good enough" and/or meeting other's expectations, he/she may attempt to make their victim feel and believe similar things about him/her self. The following are some of the most recognized types of emotional abuse:

Rejecting – experiences in which an individual's presence, value, or worth is not acknowledged/recognized by another individual; communication to another individual that they are worthless and/or inferior to others; devaluing one's thoughts, feelings, experiences, etc.

Isolating – this can range from the extreme of physical confinement of another individual to lesser forms of isolation, including limiting one's freedom within their environment and/or restricting normal contact with others.

Degrading – identified as behavior which negatively impacts the identity, self-worth, and dignity of another person; this may involve name calling, ridicule, insults, intimidation, and condescending commentary.

Exploiting/Corrupting – exploitation of another person for one's own advantage or profit; socializing another individual to accept ideas, behavior, etc. that opposes legal standards and/or crosses personal boundaries.

 – ongoing threatening behavior/commentary towards another individual such that intense terror or fear is induced; may involve elements of coercion by intimidation.

Denying Emotional Responsiveness
 – occurs when an individual fails to provide care/concern in a sensitive and responsive manner to their significant other; this may occur when an individual interacts only when necessary, is uninvolved and detached, and ignores another person's emotional and/or physical needs.

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    Reporting Options

What do I do if I have been a victim of domestic violence?

  1. Call 911 to report the incident immediately to the police. Or direct dial UW-Stout Police (232-2222) or Menomonie Police (232-1283).
  2. Make a Safety Plan.
  3. Tell someone close to you for support and/or help.
  4. You could file a restraining order.

Who can I report to that I am victim of domestic violence?

There are various options for reporting incidents of sexual assault, stalking or relationship violence. If you are considering taking action against the perpetrator, you have the option of reporting to both the police and the Dean of Students Office.

Confidentiality Assured-UW Stout Police

If you are a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime and do not want to pursue action with University Police or the Menomonie Police Department, you may still want to consider making an anonymous report of criminal activity. With your permission, either police department will file a report of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of an anonymous report is to allow for the police to follow up on your concern with strict confidentiality, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With the information you submit, the police can more accurately reflect crime statistics and establish patterns of crime with regard to location and method of operation. In addition, it allows them to provide timely alerts and warnings to the campus community when warranted. Email the UW-Stout Police or leave a message at (715) 232-2222. You may also call the Menomonie Police at (715) 232-1283.
The UW Stout Police and Menomonie Police Department will not issue underage drinking citations to students reporting to have experienced sexual assault.

Reporting Sources

If you have experienced rape, stalking, relationship violence you can report the incident to any of the following agencies:

  1. The Bridge to Hope
    (715) 235-9074
    Advocates at the Bridge to Hope are contracted with UW-Stout to provide students with support and information about the legal, medical, counseling, and disciplinary options on campus, in the community, at the hospital, when reporting to police, and in the court room. Advocacy services are free and confidential, and do not require you to make a report to police or campus officials. 
  2. Campus Police
    (715) 232-2222 or 911
    110 University Services Building
    Any sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking crime committed on campus property, regardless of whether or not the victim or the perpetrator is a student, staff or faculty member, should be reported to the University Police. Call the University Police if there is any question of where to make a report.
  3. Menomonie Police Department
    (715) 232-1283 or 911
    Acts of sexual violence that occur off campus should be reported to Menomonie Police.
  4. Dean of Students
    (715) 232-1181
    130 Bowman Hall
    The Dean of Students Office investigates students’ formal and informal complaints of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking. The Dean of Students staff will ensure that you have the support and assistance you need and outline your options. 
  5. Counseling Center
    (715) 232-2468
    410 Bowman Hall
    Counselors provide support and caring attention while you cope with the emotional response to your experience and seek to restore your sense of safety and personal control. Several staff counselors have specialized training in helping people cope with and recover from traumatic reactions that can accompany sexual violence victimization. 
  6. Student Health Services
    (715) 232-1314
    103 1st Avenue West (N. Campus across from Wigen Hall)
    Physicians and Nurse Practitioners provide you with caring medical attention after sexual assault or domestic/dating violence including pregnancy and STD screening; medical examination and documentation of any injuries experienced and referral to other campus or community services.

    What Happens to You?

What will happen to me if I report the incident?

If you choose to report the abuse, the person you report to will need to know the details of the incident in order to effectively help you. The information you report will be kept confidential unless you are threatening to harm yourself or another person. If you report to the police, the police may ask you to reveal the name of the person harming you so that they can do a criminal background check. This may help the police determine the level of danger you could be in. The most important thing to the police is that you are safe. The police may refer you to community resources to ensure your safety.

  • If you are uncertain whether or not to call the police, you can call them without identifying yourself or the person harming you. The police are also there to educate you on your rights.

    Consequences for Domestic Violence Offender

What are the consequences for the person who is abusing me?

The police or a Dean of Students staff person will conduct an interview with the accused in order to obtain his/her side of the story. If the police believe there is probable cause or a reason to believe that the person committed a crime, then the person will be arrested and charges will be filed. If the Dean of Students believes that a violation of the student conduct code has occurred, the accused will be subject to campus sanctions. Navigate to Consequences of Domestic Violence to learn about the investigation procedures for the campus disciplinary process.

Wisconsin Mandatory Arrest Law

An arrest shall be made if probable cause exists to believe that:
  1. A person had committed or is committing domestic abuse, and 
  2. The person's actions constitute the commission of a crime, and 
  3. Either or both of the following circumstances are present: 
  4. The officer has a reasonable basis for believing that continued domestic abuse against the alleged victim is likely. 
  5. There is evidence of physical injury to the alleged victim. 
  6. An officer's decision as to whether or not to arrest may not be based on the consent of the victim to any subsequent prosecution, or on the relationship of the persons involved in the incident. 
  7. An officer's decision not to arrest may not be based solely upon the absence of visible indications of injury or impairment. 
  8. If a report of a domestic abuse incident and the alleged act of abuse occurred more than 28 days prior to the date reported, the officer is not mandated to arrest the alleged perpetrator.

    Recovering From Domestic Violence

How can I heal from this situation?

Each person heals from this experience in his/her own way and time. You may want to seek help from a professional counselor who is familiar with the aftermath of rape. Any counseling service you decide to receive will be kept confidential unless you give written permission to have information released to another party. You may find that you experience different emotions ranging from anger to a sense of calmness. Any feelings you experience are "normal" given your situation, as every individual reacts differently based on their past history, personality, and current circumstances. It is very important that you honor all of your feelings and that you do not blame yourself for the assault. Talking about what happened to you with people who are supportive and understanding can be very helpful. This is a way to begin the process of recovery.

Counselors at the Counseling Center are available to help student survivors of sexual assault. You can also navigate here for a list of off-campus 
Counseling Resources.

    How to Help a Friend

How Can I Help a Friend?

  • Listen. Be there. Don't be judgmental. 
  • Encourage your friend to seriously consider reporting the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor or victim advocate can provide the information your friend will need to make this decision. 
  • Be patient. Remember, it will take your friend some time to deal with the crime.
  •  Let your friend know that professional help is available through the The Bridge to Hope. Encourage him or her to call the victim advocate (715-235-9074), but realize that only your friend can make the decision to get help.

    Date Rape Drugs

Date Rape Drugs

Certain drugs, such as Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, are sometimes called "Rape Drugs" because they can be used as a weapon in sexual assault crimes. When the drugs are hidden in a drink, they may be completely undetectable. Yet, they are powerful and dangerous. They can seriously harm or even kill you. When the drugs dissolve in the drink, they are colorless and odorless. Sometimes the drugs are also tasteless. The drugs can make you confused, weak, and/or unconscious.

Signs that you may have been drugged.

  • Feeling a lot more intoxicated than your usual response to the amount of alcohol you consumed (take into account the amount of food you ate and how much you drank.)
  • Waking up very hung over, feeling "fuzzy," experiencing memory lapse, and being unable to account for a period of time.
  • Remembering taking a drink but being unable to recall what happened for a period of time after you consumed the drink.
  • Feeling as though someone had sex with you, but being unable to remember any or the entire incident.

Not everyone is affected the same way.

It is difficult to predict the exact effects of any drug on a particular individual. The effects may vary depending upon the drug, the dose you ingest, and whether the drug is mixed with alcohol or other drugs. Other factors that influence how a particular drug will affect you are your weight, gender, metabolism, and other issues, such as how soon you receive medical assistance. If you believe you have been drugged, it is important to report the incident immediately to the police.

    Domestic Violence Safety Plan

Devising a Safety Plan for Abusive Relationships

Step 1. Safety during violence.

We encourage you to complete this form with someone you trust and print this page and keep it with you. A printable Acrobat Reader pdf of this document is available at Domestic Violence Safety Plan.

I can use the following options:

  1. I decide to leave, I will ___________________
    1. Move to a room with easy access to an exit. Don't go to the kitchen, bathroom or near possible weapons.
    2. Know the quickest route out of your home. Practice escaping that way.
    3. Know the quickest route out of your workplace. Practice escaping that way. Domestic Violence does not just occur in your home.
    4. Pack a bag and have it ready. Keep it hidden but make it easy to grab quickly.
    5. Tell your neighbors about your abuse and ask them to call the police when they hear a disturbance.
    6. Have a code word to use with your family and friends. They will know to call the police and get you help.
    7. Know where you are going to go, if you ever have to leave.
    8. Use your instincts.
    9. You have the right to protect yourself.
  2. I can keep a bag ready and put it ___________________ so I can leave quickly.
  3. I can tell ___________________ about the violence and have them call the police when violence erupts.
  4. I will use this word code ___________________ for my friends, or family to call for help.
  5. I have to leave my home, I will go ___________________. (Be prepared even if you think you will never have to leave.)
  6. When an argument erupts, I will move to a safer room such as ___________________. See Options.
  7. I will use my instincts, intuition, and judgment. I will protect myself until I am out of danger.

Step 2. Safety when getting ready to leave.

I can use the following strategies:

  1. I will leave money and an extra set of keys with ___________________.
  2. I will keep important documents and keys at ___________________.
  3. I will open a savings account by this date ___________________ to increase my independence.
  4. Other things I can do to increase my independence are: ___________________.
  5. The domestic violence hotline is 1-800-924-9918.
  6. The shelter's hotline is 1-800-924-9918.
  7. I will keep change for phone calls with me at ALL times. I know that if I use a telephone credit card, that the following month the telephone bill will tell the batterer who I called after I left. I will keep this information confidential by using a prepaid phone card, using a friend's telephone card, calling collect, or using change.
  8. I will check with ___________________ and ___________________ to know who will let me stay with them or who will lend me money.
  9. I can leave extra clothes with ___________________.

Step 3. Safety At Home

I can use the following safety methods:

  1. I or my landlord can change the locks on my doors and windows as soon as possible.
  2. I or my landlord can replace wooden doors with steel doors.
  3. I or my landlord can install security systems- i.e. additional locks, window bars, poles to wedge against doors, electronic sensors, etc.
  4. I can purchase rope ladders to be used for escape routes from the second floor.
  5. I can install smoke detectors and buy fire extinguishers for each floor of my home.
  6. I or my landlord can install an outside lighting system that lights up when someone approaches my home.
  7. I can tell the following people that my partner no longer lives with me and that they should call the police if he is near my residence:
    • Neighbors ___________________
    • Friends ___________________
    • Others ___________________

Step 4. Order of Protection

The following steps will help enforce the order of protection:

  1. I will keep the protection order ___________________ (the location). Always keep it with you.
  2. I will give my protection order to police departments in the areas that I visit my friends, family, where I live, and where I work.
  3. If I visit other counties, I will register my protection order with those counties.
  4. I can call the local domestic violence agency if I am not sure how to register my protection order with the police departments.
  5. I will tell my employer, my church leader, my friends, my family and others that I have a protection order.
  6. If my protection order gets destroyed, I know I can go to the County Courthouse and get another copy.
  7. If my partner violates the protection order, I will call the police and report it. I will call my lawyer, my advocate, counselor, and/ or tell the courts about the violation.
  8. If the police do not help, I will call my advocate or my attorney AND I will file a complaint with the Chief of the Police Department.
  9. I can file a private criminal complaint with the district judge in the jurisdiction that the violation took place or with the District Attorney. A domestic violence advocate will help me do this.

Step 5. Job and Public Safety

I can do the following:

  1. I can tell my boss, security, and ___________________ at work about this situation.
  2. I can ask ___________________ to help screen my phone calls.
  3. When leaving work I can do the following: ___________________
  4. When I am driving home from work and problems arise, I can ___________________
  5. If I use public transportation, I can ___________________
  6. I will shop at different stores at different hours than I did when I was with my partner.
  7. I will use a different bank and bank at different hours than I did when I was with my partner.
  8. I can also do the following: ___________________

Step 6. Drug and Alcohol Use.

I can enhance my safety if I do the following:

  1. If I am going to use, I am going to do it in a safe place with people who understand the risk of violence and who are committed to my safety.
  2. I can also ___________________
  3. If my partner is using, I can ___________________
  4. I can also ___________________

Step 7. Emotional Health

I can do the following:

  1. If I feel depressed and ready to return to a potentially violent situation/ partner, I can ___________________
    • I can call ___________________
  2. When I have to talk to my partner in person or on the phone, I can ___________________
  3. I will use "I am..." statements and I will be assertive with people.
  4. I can tell myself ___________________ when I feel people are trying to control or abuse me.
  5. I can call the following people and/ or places for support: ___________________
  6. Things I can do to make me feel stronger are: ___________________
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    Information for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff are often the first ones students come to with a report of sexual assault. The following flow-chart has been created to guide you through steps you can take to respond in an appropriate and effective way with survivors: Sexual Assault Response Protocol