California this week became the first state to ban so-called revenge porn — sexually-explicit photos intended for private use that get posted online by a vengeful partner after a couple breaks up.

As It Happens co-host Carol Off speaks with Charlotte Laws, who has worked closely with California State Senator Anthony Cannella to fight for the new law. 

The new law makes revenge porn a misdemeanour offence punishable in California by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 US fine.

However, Laws says the new law will only protect about 10 to 20 per cent of victims of revenge porn because it does not cover photos taken by the victim. She says 80 to 90 per cent of the photos that end posted online are photos that are "self-shot," so she hopes the law will eventually be amended to protect all victims of revenge porn.

Prior to the introduction of the new law, victims in California had to sue people who posted their photo online.