Kimberly Corban grew up in Greeley, Colorado and still has the pleasure of calling the Rocky Mountain state home. In May of 2006, Kimberly’s life was irrevocably changed when a stranger broke in to her college-area apartment, held her there for two hours, and raped her. She immediately reported the crime to authorities and served as the key witness in her attacker’s trial, successfully garnering a sexual assault conviction.
Following the jury’s guilty verdict, Kimberly made the brave and courageous decision to release her name to the media with the goal of saving even just one victim, providing them the courage to come forward as well. Over the past several years, this has proven to be a rewarding yet tireless effort to educate the public on sexual assault and the impacts these crimes have on so many survivors. She has presented to numerous advocate groups, high schools and colleges, justice professionals, and various government agencies internationally on sexual assaults, using her case as an illustration for how the criminal justice system should work.
As a graduate student at the University of Northern Colorado, her and her fellow students’ right to continue to concealed carry on their college campuses came under fire in 2013. She knew she had to take action and get involved in the fight to protect our second amendment rights. What started as a testimony in front of her state officials exploded into a national conversation on victimization and self-defense. In 2016, Kimberly confronted President Obama on CNN’s nationally televised town hall “Guns in America”, asking him why he couldn’t see that his gun control policies were actually make her and her children less safe. Her unwavering voice in the face of adversity has earned her praise as “the modern face of gun rights” from some of America’s top politicos.
Kimberly has been featured on many major news networks including CNN, Fox News, NRA News, and The Blaze. She often lends her voice to multiple syndicated radio programs and print media to include The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Elle Magazine, MSN.com, the New York Times, and countless other online publications. She is a contributor to Bearing Arms, Conservative Review, and is a regular commentary guest on the NRA News program Cam & Company.
A mother to two young children, Kimberly stays plenty active and has no shame in singing Disney songs at full volume with her son and daughter. She hates running yet does it anyway, loves all things that have to do with llamas, is a serious movie quoting buff, and is not very sarcastic.
Here at FFL, we are incredibly inspired by the courage of Kimberly. We’re sure it is not easy and we thank her for all that she does for sexual assault awareness, the Second Amendment, and for women everywhere. We were lucky enough to have Kimberly answer a few questions about sexual assault, guns, and her journey.
1) Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in Colorado and attended the University of Northern Colorado in my hometown of Greeley for my Bachelors and Masters studies in psychology and criminal justice. I have two adorable babies, ages 1 and 2, and work full time for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office as the Community Relations Director. I am delightfully sarcastic, can hold entire conversations in nothing but movie quotes (or gifs), love all things that have to do with llamas, and have a serious issue with anyone who think kale should be it’s own food group.
2) You are a sexual assault survivor and have been very open about it, what (and when) made you want to speak out and help others gain the strength to speak out about sexual assault?
Just prior to my rapist’s jury trial, I started thinking about why all of these things had to happen to me. I suffered from PTSD, depression, debilitating seizures, and nearly failed out of school—all as a direct result of a violent crime. I made the conscious choice that if I could just save one person from having to experience what I had gone through, then releasing my name and telling my story would be worth it. Over the last ten years, my outreach and advocacy has proven to impact men and women from all walks of life. Each time I hear one of their stories, I am extremely humbled.
3) As a most of our audience is between the ages of 16-25, what advice or steps would you give to a young woman to be proactive and protect themselves on their college campuses and their communities?
I think back to when I was a young woman within the age of the FFL community, and in hindsight, I can’t help but smile. There will always be evil in the world and terrible things will find us, especially as women, but the resilience and determination I found I had within me all along was only discovered by surviving a rape. It took nearly losing my life to appreciate its unwavering value and uncover my aplomb determination to spare other lives from the same experience.
My advice to you is this: Don’t wait to be put into a self-defense situation before taking your right to self-defense seriously. While you may not choose to be a victim, you do have the ability to choose to protect yourself in the best way you personally see fit. That includes the right to carry a gun.
If your campus does not allow concealed carry, I urge you to start looking into Title IX arguments. Just as Title IX protects victims of sexual assaults on their campuses, it should protect those of us who wish to prevent our own victimization as well. Firearms are the one true equalizer when it comes to personal protection in a self-defense situation. In an article I wrote on Bearing Arms, I go in-depth on the use of Title IX, but it is one of many approaches to take when trying to educate faculty, staff, and your peers about the real dangers on and off campus.
4) What can the FFL readers do to help spread awareness of sexual assault?
There are many fantastic campaigns out there including Start by Believing and No More RAINN. While national campaigns are amazing and help reach a broad audience, I would encourage each and every one of you to start with your friends and family. Have discussions about consent. Talk about the different types of harassment or stalking or domestic violence that often are a prelude a sexual assault. Although these dialogues are never comfortable, if you are truly looking to make a real difference, we have to move the conversation to address the problem and make speaking out something that is encouraged, not shamed. If you don’t know where to start, I would encourage you to read more about my story and see the ripple effect it created throughout my community.
5) You are also a Second Amendment advocate, do you have any advice to those who want to learn how to protect themselves via firearm or obtaining their concealed carry?
Owning a handgun and carrying concealed is not for everyone. I know it wasn’t for me until after my assault. If you understand your constitutional rights, you may look at this as an option earlier in life than perhaps I did.
Getting started may be the toughest part. Those of us who didn’t grow up around guns may feel intimidated by ranges, gun shows, or even conversations surrounding firearms. But here’s a secret—gun owners LOVE to talk to people about guns. They want to teach others about what they know, so just start asking questions. In my experience, the gun community has been extremely open and eager to teach me everything from magazine capacities to how to properly clean, store and carry firearms.
Be sure to check on your local and state laws first, but once you have a healthy understanding of the rules and restrictions, feel confident in carrying, and are able to do so safely, concealed carry could be a viable option for you and your lifestyle.
6) What would you say to those who are “pro-women” but don’t advocate for gun ownership among citizens? In specific, does this hurt women in your opinion? Do you think there is a sense of hypocrisy among these people?
Gun ownership, like it or not, is a women’s rights issue. It is an absolute insult to be told that any woman has to vote for someone simply because of to our gender. Likewise, it is insulting to be told that a rape whistle or call box is a “good enough” defense when I am in imminent danger. I take the protection of my life, my family’s lives, and the lives of each individual, including the young women reading this today very seriously. When politicians and elitists talk down to us and say that we do not need guns, I ask why their lives should matter more than the general public.
Insinuating that a woman is incapable of making the decision to defend herself with a firearm, is exactly the rhetoric stereotypical feminists would protest if only the word “firearm” were replaced with “birth control”. Don’t get me wrong, I identify as a feminist, but more the circa-1920’s women’s-suffrage-type. I believe in equal opportunities, not special privileges. My owning and carrying a firearm gives me equality in self-defense where I would not otherwise be able to overcome a physically dominating attacker. Prohibiting what, where, and when citizens carry hurts not only women, but each individual in this country.
7) How do you combat media myths about guns? What is your advice for our readers to combat the myths spread by the media and the left?
The best way to combat any myth is with fact. Statistics don’t typically make the impact we may hope, so if you can attach a real life story to a point you need to make, it forces the listener/reader/viewer to imagine themselves, even if only for a moment, into that exact situation to highlight the point you’re trying to make.
Tying it back to the original argument immediately becomes much easier. Independents want to side with those they feel they can most identify with, and unfortunately the liberal media does a great job of saying it is not conservatives. We have a fantastic product, but it won’t do this country any good if we can’t market the ideas associated with our product. You are all marketing in some capacity, so think of the brand you want to represent, then exude it – and you can’t go wrong.
8) Who were your role models growing up, and do you have any role models now?
I have been asked this question many times before and always struggled to come up with an answer. There isn’t one person that stands out in my mind as a role model, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I recognized early on that people aren’t perfect, myself included, though all of us have inspiring traits and characteristics. Instead of idolizing just one person, I like to find good in everyone around me, and strive to emulate those qualities in my own life.
9) What is one thing you want the FFL readers to know?
You do not have to have a story like mine to have a voice like mine. The greatest thing we as women can do is to speak the words that flow true from our hearts. It’s how we find the most sincere connection with other women. The more you use your unique voice, and express your true self, the more others will be inspired to do the same.
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