I saw a news report the other day that talked about the increase in domestic abuse incidents not only in Wisconsin but throughout the nation. This increase is undoubtedly an unintended consequence of the quarantine orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus alone is putting extraordinary stresses on our personal health and finances as a record number of Americans recently filed for unemployment. Further there are less options available to people in terms of peacefully resolving disputes. You cannot as freely and easily go outside, go to work, or take a walk in a park to blow off steam like you could in the past. Finally, added to this pressure cooker is a documented increase in drug and alcohol consumption.
Oftentimes when we hear the phrase domestic abuse we form images of a man, often portrayed with a poor moral character, that is physically aggressive towards a woman. Although sadly those types of incidents still occur many people are surprised to find out how domestic abuse laws work in Wisconsin. For example, people I consult are often very surprised to discover that domestic abuse laws can apply to arguments among roommates, or even former roommates!
This article defines domestic abuse for you, explains the main potential consequences you should care about, and provides you with three recommendations that you can immediately take to help yourself and protect your rights.