She calls them « my women » or « my girls ». With a smile and undiminished determination, she shares their meals and the life of those stranded here. In the French town of Albi, 52-year-old Nicole Belmas has been running the home for battered women and children for over twenty years now. It all started one 16 November 1978. A true victory for those defending women’s causes: contraception, family planning, marital violence. It all seems long ago today and, yet, 45 residents still live here with their children, a reminder that these goals are far from being achieved.