It is quite plain that 'direct', in this context, means addressing the harm head on.
Cf. Webster's (1913):
1. Straight; not crooked, oblique, or circuitous; leading by the short or shortest way to a point or end; as, a direct line; direct means.
2. Straightforward; not of crooked ways, or swerving from truth and openness; sincere; outspoken.
3. Immediate; express; plain; unambiguous.