In Paris, the mostly female activists chanted "Abuser, you've had it, women are in the street" and held purple placards bearing the names of female victims and slogans such as "not another murder more."
Purple is a symbolic color used by the women's rights movement.
The demonstrations, led by the #NousToutes association, took place two days before the government is due to publish the results of an investigation into domestic violence.
A Council of Europe expert group on domestic violence (GREVIO) said this week France needed to offer better protection for victims and their children and more effective anti-violence measures.
"We cannot continue to accept that women are being murdered today with total impunity. The state must do its job to guarantee the security of all women in this country," #NousToutes activist Karine Plassard told Reuters in Paris.
Other marches took place in French cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lille."There is far too much violence against women everywhere in society, at work, in our intimate lives," said Paris demonstrator Pauline, 28. "The masculine part of the population must be aware of what they are doing to the other half."