Who Is Kim Corban? New Details On The Rape Survivor Advocate And Her Beef With CNN's Chris Cuomo

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Kim Corban? New Details On The Rape Survivor Advocate And Her Beef With CNN's Chris Cuomo

Kimberly Corban is no stranger to attention. The sexual assault survivor has made a career as a speaker and victims advocate, trying to help other rape survivors. She is also an outspoken advocate for gun ownership, saying that she feels it’s her responsibility as a parent to be able to use a firearm to protect her children. This week, Corban posted her feelings about gun ownership on Twitter. CNN host Chris Cuomo then retweeted her post along with the comment “Only in America,” an apparent criticism of Corban’s pro-gun stance. Corban’s supporters were outraged at the TV show host's take on the tweet and immediately lit up his mentions.

Who is Kimberly Corban and why is she fighting with Chris Cuomo? Read on for all the details.

1. Attack

Corban was a 20-year-old college student in Colorado when a man broke into her apartment and raped her. At the time, she told the Denver Post that he put a t-shirt over her head and whispered threats to her as he attacked her. She did her best to get glimpses of identifying information about him in the hopes that she could tell police how to find him later. “I wasn’t going to survive by kicking and screaming, but by finding out who he was,” Corban said. “That’s how I would get my revenge.” She would later come to find out that her assailant had stalked her and her roommates and snuck into the apartment through an open window. He assaulted her for two hours that night.

She recently remember the anniversary of her assault.

2. Convicted

Unlike many rape cases, Corban was not only able to help police identify her attacker, she was able to help them secure a conviction. Her testimony as well as DNA evidence led the jury to convict 25-year-old Ronnie Pieros of sexual assault as well as burglary charges for breaking into her apartment. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the crimes, according to the Denver Post.

 

Her assault was years ago but she never forgets.

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3. Victim advocate

The attack changed Corban and she almost immediately changed her focus in life. She switched majors from business to psychology and criminal justice and she worked to become a victim advocate after graduation. She told the Denver Post: “This happened to me for a reason, and maybe it was to help give women strength to speak up. I don’t care if you are a stripper or you’ve been drinking — rape is rape, and it’s not your fault. You didn’t ask for this.” She worked with the District Attorney’s office and eventually went on to become a well known speaker, giving speeches about sexual assault and surviving it.

Corban is an advocate for sexual assault survivors.

4. Married with kids

Nowadays, Corban is a mother of four children. She is married to Mike Rourke, the prosecutor who helped put her rapist in prison. Her family lives in Colorado and she has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, and OANN, according to her website. She gained attention for her TEDTalk “How My Sexual Assault Was Hijacked by Politicians and Lobbies”.

Corban's TEDTalk was well received.

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5. Gun ownership

Corban also believes that gun ownership is a good form of self-defense for herself and her family. She was part of a town hall on the subject and asked then-President Obama “As a survivor of rape, and now a mother to two small children — you know, it seems like being able to purchase a firearm of my choosing, and being able to carry that wherever my — me and my family are — it seems like my basic responsibility as a parent at this point. I have been unspeakably victimized once already, and I refuse to let that happen again to myself or my kids. So why can’t your administration see that these restrictions that you’re putting to make it harder for me to own a gun, or harder for me to take that where I need to be is actually just making my kids and I less safe?” The Washington Post reported that Obama responded by saying: “I just want to repeat that there’s nothing that we’ve proposed that would make it harder for you to purchase a firearm.” He followed up by reminding the audience: “You have to be pretty well trained in order to fire a weapon against somebody who is assaulting you and catches you by surprise…There’s always the possibility that that firearm in a home leads to a tragic accident.”  Obama was correct in his assertion that firearms in the home have been shown to lead to tragic accidents, particularly when children get their hands on the guns that have been left unsecured in the home, according to reporting by USA Today. Corban herself talked about having a hammer and a razor near her bed when she was assaulted but was unable to access them in the moment.

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Unsecured guns can lead to children being shot.

6. Cuomo beef

This week, Corban appeared in an NRA video talking about her experience. When the NRA tweeted a photo of Corban with the caption: “I'm a mother of two, and if a predator or anyone else tries to harm me or my family, they have to come through my firearm first." —Kim Corban Chris Cuomo retweeted it with the comment “Only in America.” Social media jumped on Cuomo for criticizing a sexual assault survivor. Corban later tweeted “[Cuomo] reached out to me directly last night and apologized for any disrespect I may have perceived. We were able to share our sides and agree there is work to be done. Communication 280 characters at a time is no substitute for honest conversation. Be kind to each other.”

Cuomo received a backlash for this tweet.

Both Cuomo and Corban have moved on to other subjects on Twitter and seem to be getting along fine now.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.