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Wisconsin

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in Wisconsin.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in Wisconsin.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The Wisconsin State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

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Criminal Stalking Laws

Wis. Stat. § 940.32. Stalking. (2005)
(1)   In this section:


(a)  "Course of conduct" means a series of 2 or more acts carried out over time, however short or long, that show a continuity of purpose, including any of the following:

1.  Maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the victim.

2. Approaching or confronting the victim.

3. Appearing at the victims workplace or contacting the victims employer or coworkers.

4. Appearing at the victims home or contacting the victims neighbors.

5. Entering property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.

6. Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victims telephone or any other persons telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously, regardless of whether a conversation ensues.

6m. Photographing, videotaping, audio taping, or, through any 
other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the victim. This subdivision applies regardless of where the act occurs.

7. Sending material by any means to the victim or, for the purpose of obtaining information about, disseminating information about, or communicating with the victim, to a member of the victims family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim.

8.  Placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.

9.  Delivering an object to a member of the victims family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by such a person with the intent that the object be delivered to the victim.

10. Causing a person to engage in any of the acts described in subds. 1. to 9.

 (am) "Domestic abuse" has the meaning given in s. 813.12 (1) (am)

(ap) "Domestic abuse offense" means an act of domestic abuse that constitutes a crime.

(c)   "Labor dispute" includes any controversy concerning terms, tenure or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or seeking to arrange terms or conditions of employment, regardless of whether the disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.

(cb) "Member of a family" means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who is related by blood or adoption to another.

(cd) "Member of a household" means a person who regularly resides in the household of another or who within the previous 6 months regularly resided in the household of another.

(cg) "Personally identifiable information" has the meaning given in s. 19.62 (5)

(cr) "Record" has the meaning given in s. 19.32 (2)

(d)   "Suffer serious emotional distress" means to feel terrified, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or tormented.

(2)   Whoever meets all of the following criteria is guilty of a Class I felony:

(a)  The actor intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under the same circumstances to suffer serious emotional distress or to fear bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

(b)  The actor knows or should know that at least one of the acts that constitute the course of conduct will cause the specific person to suffer serious emotional distress or place the specific person in reasonable fear of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

(c)  The actors acts cause the specific person to suffer serious emotional distress or induce fear in the specific person of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

(2e) Whoever meets all of the following criteria is guilty of a Class I felony:

(a) After having been convicted of sexual assault under s. 940.225, 948.02, 948.025, or 948.085 or a domestic abuse offense, the actor engages in any of the acts listed in sub. (1) (a) 1. to 10., if the act is directed at the victim of the sexual assault or the domestic abuse offense.

(b) The actor knows or should know that the act will cause the specific person to suffer serious emotional distress or place the specific person in reasonable fear of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

(c) The actors act causes the specific person to suffer serious emotional distress or induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.
 
(2m) Whoever violates sub. (2) is guilty of a Class H felony if any of the following applies:

(a) The actor has a previous conviction for a violent crime, as defined in s. 939.632 (1) (e) 1., or a previous conviction under this section or s. 947.013 (1r), (1t), (1v), or (1x)

(b) The actor has a previous conviction for a crime, the victim of that crime is the victim of the present violation of sub. (2), and the present violation occurs within 7 years after the prior conviction.

(c) The actor intentionally gains access or causes another person to gain access to a record in electronic format that contains personally identifiable information regarding the victim in order to facilitate the violation.

(d) The person violates s. 968.31 (1) or 968.34 (1) in order to facilitate the violation.

(e) The victim is under the age of 18 years at the time of the violation.

(3)   Whoever violates sub. (2) is guilty of a Class F felony if any of the following applies:

(a)  The act results in bodily harm to the victim or a member of the victims family or household.

(b)  The actor has a previous conviction for a violent crime, as defined in s. 939.632 (1) (e) 1., or a previous conviction under this section or s. 947.013 (1r), (1t), (1v) or (1x), the victim of that crime is the victim of the present violation of sub. (2), and the present violation occurs within 7 years after the prior conviction.

(c)  The actor uses a dangerous weapon in carrying out any of the acts listed in sub. (1) (a) 1. to 9.

(3m) A prosecutor need not show that a victim received or will receive treatment from a mental health professional in order to prove that the victim suffered serious emotional distress under sub. (2) (c) or (2e) (c)

(4)    
(a)  This section does not apply to conduct that is or acts that are protected by the persons right to freedom of speech or to peaceably assemble with others under the state and U.S. constitutions, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

1.  Giving publicity to and obtaining or communicating information regarding any subject, whether by advertising, speaking or patrolling any public street or any place where any person or persons may lawfully be.

2. Assembling peaceably.

3. Peaceful picketing or patrolling.

(b)  Paragraph (a) does not limit the activities that may be considered to serve a legitimate purpose under this section.

(5)   This section does not apply to conduct arising out of or in connection with a labor dispute.

(6)   The provisions of this statute are severable. If any provision of this statute is invalid or if any application thereof is invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

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