From Iceland — Enterprising Icelander Offering Legal Help For Sex Abuse Survivors Hit By NDAs

Enterprising Icelander Offering Legal Help For Sex Abuse Survivors Hit By NDAs

Published January 20, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Haraldur Þorleifsson, the founder of Ueno, recently announced on Twitter that he wants to help survivors of sexual abuse who have been subjected to non-disclosure agreements and be released from them, saying that anyone trying to get out of an NDA following sexual abuse should DM him directly.

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Speaking with Vísir, Haraldur said, “I have a good lawyer who I can get to examine cases and it is definitely possible to open most of these agreements. Very often, these agreements are very questionable, they are not necessarily enforceable or something anyone would enforce but it’s maybe a bit intimidating to look into it.”

While there are a number of reasons why a survivor of sexual abuse might not come forward, Haraldur believes that the financial cost of pursuing justice, or the fear of dealing with legal issues, should not be an obstacle. This has prompted him to offer help.

“I imagine that those who make these NDAs do so from a very imbalanced connection, where one person is well funded, with a lawyer and money that he can use to buy silence, and another person needs money so badly that they’re ready to accept that they’ll possibly be violated again,” he said. “So I got the idea to even the playing field, that it would be possible to help these people, if they want help, to get out of these agreements that they regret having made, or even had to make, but still want to tell their stories.”

This is not the first time that Haraldur has used his position to help survivors of sexual abuse. As one example, last year, when Ingólfur Þórarinssson, better known as musician Ingó Veðurguð, was accused by multiple people of sexual abuse, he subsequently lawyered up and numerous people were threatened with legal action for even commenting on the matter publicly or giving a platform for survivors to share their stories. Haraldur stepped in then, offering to cover the legal costs of anyone targeted by legal action in this matter.

Haraldur founded Ueno in 2014, and has been involved in graphic design, web design, and app development in the years that followed. Last January, he sold Ueno to Twitter for an undisclosed amount but is estimated to be in the billions of krónur.

Since then, he has devoted himself to a number of projects, amongst them financing the construction of 100 wheelchair ramps at various locations in Reykjavík.

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