Thousands of domestic abuse survivors will get extra protection with a legal duty on councils, the Government announced today.
The move will end the postcode lottery of support for women and their children fleeing violent relationships who need a home.
Extra money will be available for councils but the sum will not be known before a spending review.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick also confirmed £15million for refuges and safe haven projects that have been at risk.
Ministers said the legal duty would be in force by 2021.
Many councils already provide tailored support to women in need – including refuges, counselling and other specialist support – but provision is patchy across the country, with many town calls struggling financially after years of austerity.
In 2017/18, 63 women and seven men were killed by a partner or an ex.
Labour MP and domestic violence campaigner Jess Phillips said she would keep a “close watch” on funding.
“The Government has a long way to go to undo the harm done by welfare changes and impoverishing local councils before we can rest on any laurels that all victims can be kept safe,” she said.
“Without wholesale improvements the number of women and children murdered will continue to rise.”
Sandra Horley of domestic abuse charity, Refuge, added: “This much needed change in the law could mean an end to the postcode lottery of finding emergency accommodation, and would ensure critical specialist services are on a much more sustainable financial footing.
“We look forward to working with the Government to make sure every woman and child can access the support they need, and that means sustainable funding that meets need and addresses current shortfalls.”
The Domestic Abuse Bill will also introduce the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse.
And it will prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in family courts.
A new Domestic Abuse Commissioner to act as a voice for survivors has already been appointed.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick told the Mirror: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their homes.
“This duty upon councils will now be brought forward – ensuring survivors get the help they need wherever they are, so they can rebuild their lives away from the threat of abuse.”