Women’s refuges across NSW will receive crime prevention security upgrades to improve safety for their residents.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest MP said the program, which will be carried out at more than 80 women’s refuges across NSW, would help protect women and children at a highly vulnerable time of their lives, including in Tweed.

“Women accessing refuge services are often in the most desperate of circumstances, often fleeing the horror of domestic and family violence,” Mr Provest said.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said he was pleased to allocate funding for the security upgrades from the NSW Government’s Crime Prevention Fund.

 “We need to have a high level of security in place to protect residents from possible threats from abusers and also ensure that these women and children feel safe,” Mr Speakman said.

The security upgrades could include replacing external fluorescent emergency lighting with energy-efficient vandal-proof lights and the installation of additional external illumination in poorly lit areas, including front and back yards, pathways, garages and other outdoor structures.

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the upgrades provide another layer of security for women and children as they recover from trauma.

“Women should not have to fear what is lurking in the shadows, especially when they have made the difficult and complex decision to leave their homes to escape violence,” Mrs Ward said.

“Complete outdoor lighting especially at refuges has been proven to be a strong crime deterrent.

“Wherever you live in our state, you should be safe and you should feel safe.”