Just one day after In Touch reported fans’ concerns about Joy-Anna Duggar possibly being abused by Austin Forsyth, rumors are now swirling that the newlyweds are in couples therapy. The two are presiding over a conservative Christian marriage retreat where they will “share their testimony.”

Joy-Anna — who gave birth to their son, Gideon in February — captioned a family photo, “Getting some work done at camp. We have the Spring Marriage Retreat coming up on April 20-22, come hear Austin and I share our testimony. Limited space available, register at www.fortrock.org.” Of course, it sounds to us like they’re just giving their take on the first year of marriage, but Radar Online reports they’re in counseling.

The two tied the knot in May 2017, and at the time, it was said that they rushed into the nuptials because they had premarital sex. Prior to giving birth, fans commented on the size Joy’s baby bump, and some even went as far to say she had been posting old photos to try to trick fans. “So many people believe she’s posting old pics and has already had the baby,” someone wrote on reddit at the time. Another, however, just thought people wanted to see the Duggars rebel. “I think people may just be desperate to believe that a Duggar has gone off the rails.” A third was simply fed up. “Getting sick of the sex before marriage comments now. It’s obvious that she just carries large — in her first bump pic she mentioned that the baby was the size of a bell pepper, which matches up with the weeks she was presenting at. She conceived on her honeymoon. Baby is due late February-early March.”

Austin’s parents, Terry and Roxanne Forsyth, are founders of the Fort Rock Christian Family Camp, which has proven to be highly controversial. Most recently, the Duggars posted a link on their Facebook page encouraging others to join them at the camp, where Michael and Debi Pearl were also set to attend. The Pearls have been at the center of controversy since publishing their book To Train Up a Child — Child Training for the 21st Century, in which they encourage the use of corporal punishment to teach children of all ages how to behave.

debi michael pearl facebook

“This makes me so sad. The Pearls literally promote hitting babies, actual babies,” one Facebook user responded. “They are child abusers. Why you would promote their evil and cruel practices is mind-boggling.” Another pleaded, “Please stop promoting the Pearls! I know your family thinks he’s teaching biblical discipline but he’s absolutely wrong. Don’t let your love of Jesus blind you to this.”

In the Pearls’ guide, they instruct mothers to pull their infant’s hair if the baby accidentally bites while breastfeeding; other methods include spanking and withholding food. In 2011, The New York Times reported that three children had died, “allegedly at the hands of parents who kept the Pearls’ book.”

Someone who actually read their book chimed in, “I have read their book and many passages detail different ways to whip and beat a child as young as 4 months. They treat children like animals that are abused by an insecure violent parent. This seems totally at odds with how the Duggar’s parent. I’ve never seen Michelle raise her voice. Jessa is so sweet with her boys. Children are a blessing! I could never hurt a baby.” And we certainly hope they’d never hurt baby Giddy.

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If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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