But there is a second register, which can be seen by council staff, which has prompted safety concerns.
Women living in fear of former partners have been allowed to join the electoral roll anonymously for the past decade – but only if they have a court order or the backing of a senior figure.
Last year Mehala Osborne, who was living in a Bristol safe house with her two-year-old son Mkhai, launched a petition to relax the restrictions.
At the time the minister responsible for the policy, Chris Skidmore, met her and said he was “truly inspired by her story”.
Ministers have also expanded the previously limited range of evidence that can be used to prove that the abuse took place.
Anonymous voters appear as the letter N without an address on the register. Women’s Aid estimates that up to 12,000 victims are receiving support in their refuges at any one time.
Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “For too long these women have been silenced because it was too dangerous for them to sign up to an electoral register, which would reveal their location, and too difficult for them to register anonymously. The new measures send out a clear message to all survivors of domestic abuse that their voices matter, and their right to vote should never be taken away.”
She said the Government is bringing forward a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill.
Source : Express