Humza Yousaf has announced £500,000 to help women fleeing domestic abuse.

The First Minister will set out details of the Fund to Leave in his closing speech at the SNP conference in Aberdeen.

The scheme will support women leaving abusive partners in the five council areas with the most cases: Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire and Fife.

The fund will be overseen by Women's Aid groups and will help women pay for essentials for them and their children.

Mr Yousaf said: "Both tackling homelessness and ending violence against women and girls are key priorities for the Scottish Government. People should feel safe in their own homes but, sadly, too often this is not the case.

"Leaving a relationship with an abusive partner is dangerous and difficult, and financial dependence on the abuser is often the biggest barrier.

"The Fund to Leave will help to reduce the financial burden of leaving an abusive partner by helping to pay for the essentials that women and children need, including rent and clothing.

"This is just one of the ways in which we can work towards a Scotland where women and girls live free from violence and abuse in their homes."

The announcement follows criticism of the Scottish Government failing to follow up a promise to create a "leavers' fund" it made in 2020.

Charities last month demanded money for women whose finances are controlled by their partners or who would struggle to buy the essentials they would need to escape them.

Scottish Women’s Aid chief executive Marsha Scott said: “Survivors have told us for decades that the biggest problems they face in extricating themselves from abusers is the danger of retaliation, their lack of financial independence and the fear of destitution.

“Whether survivors and their children can stay in their homes or need or want to move to other accommodation, paying the rent and putting food on the table are still a struggle.

“After years of advocating for speedy, accessible, and practical help for leaving, we are utterly delighted to welcome this fund and to help with getting it out to those who need it as quickly and efficiently as possible.”