Two Illawarra women have taken steps to improve the safety of people who want to walk when it’s dark outside but are afraid to do so alone.

Lifelong friends Janet Selby and Larnie Stanford have asked women and men to join them on their morning walk for safety.

“It’s a risk, walking by yourself this early. I used to do it, but I don’t. I walk with a friend now,” Ms Selby said.

According to the Mission Australia Gender Gaps 2018 Youth Survey, one in two women don’t feel safe walking in the dark.

Audio: walking group organiser Janet Selby